On the eve of the legislative session, Gov. Phil Scott is now tasked with appointing three people to serve in the Vermont House after resignations by members in Chittenden, Franklin and Orleans counties.
One year into their current terms, Reps. Brian Savage (R-Swanton), Lynn Batchelor (R-Derby Line) and Marybeth Redmond (D-Essex) have all called it quits in recent weeks. Local party officials will forward candidates for Scott to choose from as successors.
Batchelor took office in 2011 as the representative for Orleans-1, a district that includes Derby, Holland, Morgan, Charleston and Brownington. She "abruptly retired" in October and moved to Florida, the Newport Daily Expressreported on Monday.
First elected in 2008, Savage represented his hometown and neighboring Sheldon in the Franklin 4-1 district. He announced last month that he'd leave office to take a job as Swanton town administrator beginning December 1.
And last Thursday, Redmond said in a letter to House Speaker Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) that she was resigning effective immediately to deal with "some health concerns that require my prompt and focused attention."
Redmond first won election in 2018 to the Chittenden 8-1 district, which covers the Town of Essex. She was reelected last year.
"It has become clear during the past few weeks and months that my personal health and well-being must become my central priorities in the coming days," Redmond wrote. "The year-round activity of serving my constituents and my caucus as an assistant majority leader, and the natural stressors that this work entails (particularly during two years of pandemic), have left minimal space for the prioritization of my own health and wellness."
Scott has traditionally appointed replacements from the same party as outgoing members. The governor's spokesperson, Jason Maulucci, said Scott will do the same for these three.
Batchelor's replacement could be named this week, Maulucci said, as the Orleans County Republican committee has already submitted three potential candidates. The governor's office is waiting to hear from Essex Democrats and Franklin County Republicans, and there is no specific timeline yet for naming replacements for Redmond and Savage.
The legislative session starts in January.
Meanwhile, Rep. Hal Colston (D-Winooski) says he'll retire at the end of his term. He will not seek reelection in November.
Rep. Hal Colston
Colston also serves as deputy mayor on the Winooski City Council and plans to retire from that body, as well, once his term is up after Town Meeting Day in March. The Winooski News, an online outlet, first reported Colston's announcement, which he made during the December 6 council meeting.
Colston said then that he turns 69 in April and is planning to move to Aruba by October 1, 2022. Colston founded the nonprofit Good News Garage and has been involved on the boards of several local nonprofit organizations.
Colston was first elected to the Winooski City Council as a write-in candidate in 2018. Ahead of the legislative session in 2019, Scott chose Colston to fill a vacant Chittenden 6-7 seat, which covers Winooski. Colston won reelection last year.
"It's been a great experience to represent our city, locally and at the state level," Colston said at the council meeting. "I hope to keep in touch with all of you."