January 22, 2019

Primary challenger emerges for House seats

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

For the first time since they began serving in the Legislature, Williston representatives Jim McCullough and Terry Macaig will face a challenger in the Democratic primary in August.

McCullough is seeking a ninth term in the House of Representatives. Macaig is seeking a sixth term.

Challenging them for one of the two available nominations is Anthony Jordick, a 26-year-old Williston native and UVM graduate who currently chairs the Williston Conservation Commission.

Running unopposed for a Republican nomination is Joy Limoge, who currently serves alongside Macaig on the Williston Selectboard. Limoge will face the two Democratic nominees in the Nov. 6 general election seeking one of the two available House seats.

The deadline for candidates to file petitions to be on the primary ballot passed last Thursday. Voting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 14 in the Vermont National Guard Armory on Williston Road. Voters can choose which party primary to participate in while in the voting booth.

In his 50-plus years living in Williston, Macaig said there hasn’t been a contested Democratic primary for Williston representative.

“Certainly there will be more activity in my campaign (this summer),” he said.

“It is going to deserve attention. I absolutely don’t take it lightly,” McCullough added.

Jordick said he was inspired by his time on the conservation commission to increase his service to the community.

“Since graduating from the University of Vermont in 2014, I have sought out ways to give back to this community that has given me so much,” he said.

His focus in the Legislature would be on Lake Champlain water quality and renewable energy, affordability and economic security, and safety and inclusivity.

McCullough has served 16 years with a focus on land conservation and environmentalism.

“I’ve built my legislative record on environmental work and planning,” he said. “I want to continue working for the State of Vermont and the Town of Williston on natural resources and water quality.”

Macaig, who has served on the Corrections and Institutions Committee during his 10 years in office, said funding Vermont’s clean water fund and growing the economy would remain his highest priorities.

Limoge challenged Macaig and McCullough unsuccessfully in the last statewide election in 2016. She also ran for state Senate in 2014. She said there are aspects of Williston that are not being represented by the incumbents.

“We’ve had the same two folks in for many years,” she said. “I feel it’s time for some change.”

She said she would work to reign in state spending and take a statewide view of the consequences of legislative proposals.

In the contest for the six Senate seats representing Chittenden County, three Democrats — Finnian Boardman of Jericho, Val Carzello of South Burlington and Steve May of Richmond — will challenge six incumbents for nominations.

The incumbents are Tim Ashe of Burlington, Phil Baruth of Burlington, Debbie Ingram of Williston, Virginia Lyons of Williston, Christopher Pearson of Burlington and Michael Sirotkin of South Burlington.

Two Republicans — Dana Maxfield of Milton and Alex Farrell of Burlington — will run unopposed in the primary and advance to face the Democratic nominees in the general election.

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