Morrow pulls out of Windsor Senate race Remaining contenders are from northern part of county

Chris Morrow has pulled out of the Windsor Senate race.

By Cynthia Prairie
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Just one week after formally announcing his run for the Vermont Senate to represent the Windsor District, Chris Morrow of Weston, former owner of Northshire Books in Manchester, has pulled out of the race.

Because of Windsor County’s population — the 4th largest in Vermont with 57,753 residents — it is represented by three senators. (In general, Senate districts follow county lines.) Currently, Windsor’s Senate delegation is:

  • Sen. Alice Nitka, 78, of Ludlow, who decided not to seek re-election this year. She was first elected to the state Senate in 2007.
  • Sen. Dick McCormack, 74, of Bethel, who was appointed to the Senate in 1989 before being elected in 1990; and
  • Sen. Alison Clarkson, 67, of Woodstock, who served in the Vermont House from 2005 to 2016 before being elected to the state Senate, where she has served since 2017.

Click image to enlarge.

All three are Democrats as is Morrow, who is in his mid-50s. Besides McCormack and Clarkson, also running are state Rep. Rebecca White of Hartford, a Democrat  who is 27; and Republicans Dana Colson Jr. of Sharon and Alice Flanders of Hartford.

This means that whoever wins the election, southern Windsor County will be without a single senator who actually lives in the region. At 977 square miles, Windsor County is the largest county in the state by area and fourth largest by population.

When first asked about his decision to leave the race, Morrow responded by email — his preferred mode of communication — “Unfortunately, yes. It was due to a combination of factors related to the race and my other commitments which were mounting and precluding me from running properly.”

Later, he was asked to elaborate.

The Chester Telegraph: Are you as disappointed in not running as this sounds and can you expound on that disappointment? Also, please explain the “combination of factors related to the race.”

Morrow: Yes, I am disappointed. I came into the race at the last minute and that was a major operational disadvantage that I didn’t initially understand. I am not a career politician, but a community minded businessman and regular guy who wants to put my decades of experience to work in Montpelier. I am a property manager and am working for a climate change non-profit called Adaptation Leader, both of which are demanding a lot of time right now. Campaigning properly demands time and money. There were multiple factors that impacted my decision.

The Chester Telegraph: One interesting turn in you dropping out is that that leaves three Democrats likely to win but all from northern Windsor County. What is your view of that situation?

Morrow: I do feel that southern Windsor county needs representation. This is a huge county and the issues facing the south need a voice, so I am sorry that I couldn’t fill that role this time around.

The Chester Telegraph: Will you run for another position in the near future? If so, what will that be?

Morrow: I am open to future races if the timing is right and I have support. I would like to see some changes in Montpelier to better equip us to meet the challenges of the coming tumultuous decades.

Other questions from this reporter remained unanswered.

Will Senning, the director of Elections and Campaign Finance in the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office, said that Primary Election ballots have already been sent to the printer. But it was unclear if Morrow’s withdrawal was early enough for his name to be taken off the ballot. Vermont’s Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 9; the General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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