Vermont Business Magazine Chris Winters of Berlin announced his candidacy for the office of Secretary of State today. Winters, 51, is currently the Deputy Secretary to Secretary of State Jim Condos, who recently announced his retirement and has stated Winters has the most experience to replace him in November.
A graduate of Williamstown (VT) High School, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the California Western School of Law, Winters has worked in the office since 1997, serving as a staff attorney, then as Director of the Office of Professional Regulation before being appointed by Secretary Condos as Deputy Secretary in 2015. He is a Democrat and lives with his wife and children in Berlin.
“I’ve been committed to serving Vermonters in this office for the majority of my career, and I am passionate about making sure our elections are safe and secure, our voters have access to voting and to their government, our businesses have the support they need to operate successfully, and our office is transparent, responsive and helpful to all Vermonters at all times,” said Winters as he declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
Winters brings a wealth of experience and qualifications as he seeks the statewide post. In his work at the Secretary of State’s office, he has worked diligently to improve access, both for voters and for the businesses supported and regulated by the office.
He has led the effort to improve voting access, advocating for Vermont to move to same day registration, online registration, automatic voter registration and vote-by-mail, all tri-partisan policies approved overwhelmingly by the Legislature.
While Director of the Office of Professional Regulation, he strengthened professional standards while streamlining the licensing process for 50 regulated professions and now more than 80,000 licensees.
Winters notes that the most important aspects of the Secretary of State’s broad role are voter access, safety and security in elections, and building transparency and trust in government.
“In Vermont, we have done a great job of removing barriers and expanding voter access and making sure people can conduct business with their government safely during a pandemic and online during their busy lives. But we have much more to do, and I will be able to hit the ground running. It is critical to make sure this office is serving Vermonters with integrity, is a good steward of taxpayer resources, and continues to shine the light of transparency. I am passionately committed to maintaining the high standards of this office set by Jim Condos and Deb Markowitz.”
Winters has the support of the last two Secretaries of State: Deb Markowitz – who will serve as campaign Treasurer – and Jim Condos, who had this to say about his second in command, “You won’t find anyone more dedicated or knowledgeable about this office than Chris. He has been an indispensable partner in carrying out my vision for an office that is efficient, credible, accountable and delivers the services Vermonters expect and deserve. If elected, he will make a great Secretary of State.”
In addition to his many years of service in the SoS office, he chaired the Berlin school board through a major construction project, and helped see Berlin through its Act 46 merger. He is an avid marathon runner, amateur nature photographer, and loves to ski, hike, and play and coach sports with his children, who are 11, 13, 20, and 24. He and his wife Sarah Alberghini Winters, lifelong Vermonters, live in an old farmhouse in Berlin with their young sons and their rescue dog Domino.