April 19, 2019

CVU grad launches campaign for state Senate

Alex Farrell

By Elizabeth Gribkoff

For VTDigger

Chittenden County does not appear to be fertile ground for rising stars of the Republican Party. The county’s six senators are Democrats, and only six of its 40 state representatives are Republicans.

But Alex Farrell is giving it a shot. Last month, the 25-year-old Champlain Valley Union High School graduate was selected as president of the Burlington Republican Party, and last week he announced his candidacy for state Senate.

As a data analyst with Union Mutual of Vermont, Farrell says he is constantly “surveying the business environment in Vermont … and surveying home values and unemployment.”

The theme of his campaign, he said, will be addressing the area’s “affordability crisis” through a two-pronged effort to expand economic opportunity and lower the cost of living.

“I saw friends of mine who grew up here leaving, or friends from college leaving, because they had to pursue more economically feasible opportunities outside of Vermont,” said Farrell, a Shelburne native who graduated from UVM with a degree in business administration.

He comes from the prominent Farrell family, owners of the eponymous 300-employee beverage distributor with offices in South Burlington and Rutland. Farrell said his political aspirations began in college, while working at BioTek Instruments in Winooski and watching the Alperts, who own the company, stick it out in Vermont despite economic challenges.

Farrell said he hopes that people are able to look beyond his party, noting his own support for Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat who just won a third term in office (without a Republican challenger).

“We’ve gotten to the point where folks are afraid to support someone with a different letter next to their name,” Farrell said. “Mayor Weinberger has done a lot for this city, he’s made it more business friendly and he’s made housing more accessible.”

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