Macaig steps aside, endorses Brady for state rep

By Jason Starr

Observer staff

Terry Macaig is stepping aside after 12 years representing Williston in the Vermont House of Representatives and endorsing teacher and school board member Erin Brady as his successor.

Brady filed with the Secretary of State to be on the Democratic primary ballot alongside Rep. Jim McCullough for the two Williston seats. No other candidate of any party filed by last Thursday’s deadline.

Macaig said he has known of Brady’s interest in the position for a couple years; the two first talked about it when Macaig was campaigning in 2018. Brady reinforced her interest in running when the two spoke again this spring.

“I figured it is probably the time, if there is someone interested who I would support to run in my place,” said Macaig, who has no plans to step away from his service as chair of the Williston Selectboard.

Macaig has served six terms on the House Institutions and Corrections Committee.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” he said.

He is looking forward to making winter trips to see his son and daughter-in-law in Florida, something he has been unable to do while serving in January-through-May legislative sessions.

Brady is a teacher at Colchester High School and four-year member of the Champlain Valley School Board. Her political experience includes five years working for Sen. Mark Dayton of her native Minnesota as a legislative aide in the U.S. Congress. While in Washington, she met Ted Brady, a staffer for Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy. The couple married and moved to Williston 15 years ago, where they are raising two boys. Ted Brady is currently the deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

If elected, Brady’s focus in the Legislature will be “how we do more for those who are the most in need,” as well as “doing what’s best for folks in Williston, particularly families.”

“I think we need to do more for low-wage workers, the disenfranchised and people who have faced discrimination and lack of opportunity,” she said.

The coronavirus pandemic has illuminated many of the issues Brady cares about and strengthened her resolve to serve.

“The tenuous nature of our safety net is becoming much clearer,” she said.

As Macaig has done with the selectboard, Brady would continue serving as a local elected official (on the school board) simultaneous to her work in the Legislature.  

“She is a very smart person and has been very active in the town and on the school board,” said Macaig. “She will do well in the Legislature no matter what committee she might be on … She shares my values on health care, protection for small business and affordability for all Vermont families.”

In a press release from Brady announcing her candidacy, McCullough said: “I have every confidence that Erin will be an excellent fit for Williston’s representation in the Legislature. I believe she shares Williston’s and my ‘core values’ for protecting people and business. I look forward to serving with Erin in Montpelier.”

Brady was also endorsed by Ted Kenney, chair of the Williston Democratic Party and a member of the selectboard: “Erin Brady is a passionate, common sense leader,” Kenney said in the press release. “(She) listens, cares and acts with great enthusiasm. As a school board member, award-winning educator and the mother of two very active young boys, Erin has shown the strength, skills and compassion we need representing us in Montpelier.”