Governor seeks independent candidates to replace Olsen

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing, LLC

Rep. Oliver Olsen Courtesy Vermont Legislature

Gov. Phil Scott announced yesterday that his office is seeking candidates interested in filling the house seat to be vacated by Oliver Olsen on Nov. 1. Olsen is an independent who began serving the Windham-Bennington-Windsor district with the death of Rick Hube in 2009.

“I appreciate the service of Rep. Olsen, who served the people of his district well and was a smart, fair voice in the House,” said Gov. Scott in a press release.

If Olsen had been a Democrat or a Republican, the governor would have taken the recommendation of his party’s county committee for a replacement. But in the case of an independent, it’s traditional to seek another independent to serve.

“I’m committed to appointing a candidate who shares his understanding of the priorities and values of the people of the Windham-Bennington-Windsor District,” said Scott.

Olsen was appointed as a Republican by then Gov. Jim Douglas to fill out Hube’s term and was then elected to a full term and stepped aside in  2012. Olsen ran again in 2014  when Weston independent Tim Goodwin decided not to run for re-election.

Londonderry Town Clerk Kelly Pajala has already announced that she will put her name in consideration for the post. Pajala is the mother of two boys and a small business owner who says her priorities will be affordability, economic development and the preservation of school choice. 

Those who consider themselves independents and are interested in being considered for this seat should email a letter of interest, resume, three references, and any other pertinent information to Applicants must live in Jamaica, Londonderry, Stratton, Weston, or Winhall. Applications will be accepted through November 10, 2017.

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