Crowded Franklin Senate Field Prompts Change in Plans | Off Message

Crowded Franklin Senate Field Prompts Change in Plans


Vermont Statehouse - SEVEN DAYS/FILE
  • SEVEN DAYS/file
  • Vermont Statehouse
An increasingly competitive race to represent Franklin County in the Vermont Senate has prompted one candidate to change her plans.

Caroline Bright, a Democrat who lives in the town of Georgia, said Tuesday that she’ll run for the House instead.

Bright, who ran for the Senate in 2012, would have faced at least a three-way race for two Democratic slots on the ballot — not to mention a competitive general election fight. Candidates are lining up in hopes of replacing Sen. Norm McAllister (R-Franklin), who was suspended in January after his arrest last year on sexual assault charges.

Bright, a 25-year-old flight attendant and former Miss Vermont, could have less competition for the House seat. She’s eyeing a single-member district that has been represented for the past 14 years by Rep. Carolyn Branagan (R-Georgia), who is vacating her seat to run for Senate.

The deadline for candidates to file for state office is May 26.

Incumbent Sen. Dustin Degree (R-Franklin) is also running for reelection to the two-seat Senate district. McAllister has said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll seek reelection. His trial could begin as early as May.

Two Democrats — former senator Sara Kittell and Friends of Northern Lake Champlain executive director Denise Smith — are also running for the Senate seat.

“With the recent Senate campaign announcements of so many outstanding women, I am confident that Franklin County will be well-represented in the state Senate, and so I have chosen to focus my efforts on ensuring that my hometown continues to have excellent representation in the House,” Bright said in an announcement Tuesday.