Candidate Announces Run for Burlington Council's East District | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Candidate Announces Run for Burlington Council's East District


Published September 21, 2022 at 7:35 p.m.

Burlington City Hall - FILE: ALICIA FREESE ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: Alicia Freese ©️ Seven Days
  • Burlington City Hall
The date of Burlington's upcoming East District city council race has just been set, and there's already a candidate in the running.

Jake Schumann, a Ward 1 resident, is seeking the seat that was vacated by former councilor Jack Hanson, he told Seven Days on Wednesday. Mayor Miro Weinberger announced on Wednesday that the special election will be held on Tuesday, December 6.

With the general election on November 8, voters will be heading to the polls twice in just a month's time. Weinberger's office said there wasn't time to run both elections on the same day. The special election will cost the city about $13,500, according to the city clerk's office.

Even a December date gives candidates little time to organize a campaign. They must file election petitions by October 11 so that early voting can begin on October 24.

Schumann, 31, first announced his candidacy at the Ward 1 Neighborhood Planning Assembly meeting last week, a day after Hanson stepped down to apply for a job with Burlington Electric Department.
A 13-year resident of Burlington, Schumann has served as an election official off and on since 2012 and currently serves on the city's Dog Task Force. He most recently worked as a case manager for the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity's COVID-19 emergency housing program and is a certified emergency medical technician. He also volunteers with the People's Kitchen mutual aid group.

Schumann said he's running to "bring a different perspective to city council."

"I've always been a bridge builder," Schumann said. "I'm the type of person who, on city council, can find ways to compromise and build coalitions around issues across party lines."

Schumann said he plans to seek endorsements from Democrats and Progressives, and if he gets both nods, would run as an independent.

Schumann may be the first to announce, but party leaders say there's a lot of interest in the seat. Both Adam Roof, chairman of the Burlington Democratic Party, and Josh Wronski, Vermont Progressive Party executive director, said they've spoken to several potential candidates and plan to hold nominating caucuses in the coming weeks. Burlington GOP chair Christopher-Aaron Felker didn't immediately respond to an interview request.
The race could be a competitive one. The East District is comprised of Wards 1 and 8, homes of two of the closest-watched contests on Town Meeting Day in March. After two years of clashing on major issues such as public safety, Democrats had hoped to snag at least one of the Progs' six seats on the 12-member council to end the party's plurality. But despite the Dems' hard-fought campaigns, the Progs held on to both seats.

Whoever wins in December will serve until March 2023, when the East District and the city's three other geographically defined seats will be up for reelection.