Rights & Democracy announces member-approved candidate endorsements

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Rights & Democracy announces member-approved candidate endorsements

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 3:01pm -- katie

Vermont Business Magazine Rights & Democracy is announcing its member-approved endorsements of 17 candidates for the Vermont 2018 elections.

These candidates were endorsed by an electronic ballot sent to nearly 500 active members of Rights & Democracy Vermont.

“A Rights & Democracy endorsement is a signal that a candidate is already a community leader on the issues that reflect RAD’s values and will champion those causes in the Legislature,” said Alison Nihart, Co-Chair of the Rights & Democracy Board. “A RAD endorsement comes with the expectation that elected candidates will work with RAD members on legislation of shared interest to their community. In that way, it’s more than just an election year activity–it’s the start (or continuation) of a working relationship.”

RAD contacted all declared candidates to alert them to our endorsement process and how they could apply for an endorsement. First, they had to fill out a questionnaire and their responses were reviewed by RAD’s member-led Movement Politics Committee. The Committee then forwarded the names of candidates to RAD’s statewide voting membership.. That member vote concluded on July 30.

In the coming weeks, RAD members will be asked to get involved in the campaigns of these candidates - either simply to donate money, or more importantly canvass in their districts, organize events, register voters, and all that is needed to help them win their primary (if they have one) or in November.

In July, Rights & Democracy’s Board of Directors endorsed a slate of more than 20 candidates who had either previously been endorsed by RAD, or have been proven legislative champions—especially on paid family leave, raising the minimum wage, and other top issues.

Here is the list of recent, RAD member-endorsed candidates:

Federal & Statewide Candidates

  • Beth Pearce (Treasurer)


State Senate Candidates

  • Ruth Hardy, Addison County

  • Pam McCarthy, Franklin County

  • Andrew Perchlik, Washington County

  • Ashley Hill, Washington County


State House Candidates

  • Kathleen James, State Representative, Bennington-4

  • Bob Hooper, State Representative, Chittenden 6-1

  • Tanya Vyhovsky, State Representative, Chittenden 8-1

  • Charen Fergard, State Representative, Franklin-5

  • Marina Meerburg, State Representative, Lamoille-1

  • Avram Pratt, State Representative, Lamoille-Washington

  • Sarah Copeland Hanzas, State Representative, Orange-2

  • Timothy Guiles, State Representative, Rutland-6

  • Logan Nicoll, State Representative, Rutland-Windsor-2

  • Maxine Grad, State Representative, Washington-7

  • Zacharia Ralph, State Representative, Windsor-1

  • Randall Szott, State Representative, Windsor 4-1


Here is the list of previously RAD-endorsed candidates:


Federal & Statewide Candidates

  • Bernie Sanders (U.S. Senate) (incumbent, previously endorsed in 2016 presidential primary)

  • David Zuckerman (Lt. Governor) (incumbent, previously endorsed)


State Senate Candidates

  • Dustin Tanner - Franklin County

  • Debbie Ingram, Chittenden County

  • Chris Pearson, Chittenden County

  • Michael Sirotkin, Chittenden County

  • Anthony Pollina,  Washington County


State House Candidates

  • Mari Cordes, State Representative, Addison-4

  • Barb Wilson, State Representative Addison-Rutland

  • Kiah Morris, State Representative, Bennington 2-2

  • Chip Troiano, State Representative, Caledonia-2

  • Scott Campbell, State Representative, Caledonia-3

  • Selene Colburn, State Representative, Chittenden 6-4

  • Brian Cina, State Representative, Chittenden 6-4

  • Diana Gonzalez, State Representative, Chittenden 6-7

  • Kate Larose, State Representative, Franklin 3-1

  • Mike McCarthy, State Representative, Franklin 3-1

  • Kelly Cummings, State Representative, Franklin-6

  • Cindy Weed, State Representative, Franklin-7

  • Susan Hatch Davis, State Representative, Orange-1

  • Heather Stevenson, State Representative, Rutland 5-1

  • Gina Ottoboni, State Representative, Rutland-Windsor

  • Jeremy Hansen, State Representative, Washington-1

  • Tom Stevens, State Representative, Washington-Chittenden

  • Emilie Kornheiser, State Representative, Windham 2-1


In the statewide elections of 2016, RAD endorsed 37 candidates and 20 won their elections. RAD recommended an additional 12 candidates for election, and of those 7 won.

Rights & Democracy is a bi-state grassroots organization in New Hampshire and Vermont. Our mission is to bring people together to take action in building healthy communities and to ensure the values of our communities guide the policies of our government. We are building a popular movement to advance rights and create true democracy.