Conservative challenger to Scott says voters most concerned with crime and education

Army veteran and conservative Stephen Bellows has thrown his hat in the ring to run for governor, and also state Senate in Grand Isle, to halt what he sees as a downward slide for Vermont.

In an interview last week with True North Reports, Bellows said voters are most concerned about education and rising crime.

“I’ve talked to people all the way from here to Highgate, St. Albans, Hardwick, Lowell, and I’ve spent three days in Barre and gone to their committee meetings,” he said. “I’ve been all over the state and the biggest thing is the police and the schools — it’s what I’ve heard most.”

As an example about crime, Bellows says during his listening tour a voter told him one establishment in Burlington had been broken into “six or seven times this past five months” — and by one suspect.

“They arrest him because there’s nothing they can do. There’s a $200 bail that the state pays, and he’s just let right back out, because it’s under a certain amount of money, and they just keep letting him go,” Bellows said.

Stephen Bellows

He noted the staffing challenges police departments in Vermont face due to the “defund the police” movement.

“We lost over like 60 police I think in one of the counties,” Bellows said, adding that there are areas of the state now with little police coverage during certain times of the week.

“Criminals are going to want to come out here and start robbing us,” he said.

He also noted that when officers get outnumbered in a shootout, then they have to call for backup, which can take 20 minutes to arrive.

“Everything is just going downhill and people can see that we are going in a bad direction. And they want a positive change and they want someone with a backbone that’s going to stand for the values of Vermonters and not just this agenda that they are pushing,” Bellows said.

Like many conservatives, the candidate from Grand Isle thinks educators are too focused on social justice causes and not enough on real-world skills.

“We have a school system that’s just falling apart, where our kids aren’t being taught the proper skills. [Educators] are more focused on race, division and this equity stuff, not actually learning life skills to be able to get out and be part of the job force when they get older,” he said.

On the issue of election reforms, Bellows said that he opposes the decision to stick with universal mail-in ballots for November’s general election.

“They are not cleaning up the voter rolls and they are just mailing ballots out, and these people are dead or moved away and those ballots are up for grabs by anybody,” he said.

As for his current career, Bellows said he has been self-employed in property management for the past 10 years.

“We’ve been doing a lot of homesteading and a lot of work for the property management that I do. Lawn mowing, basically mulch, and rebuilding landscapes, filling in spots on beaches, or rebuilding walkways. … Anything outdoors is pretty much what I do.”

Bellows is a hard-working campaigner. In early may he spoke about drug recovery at the Teen Challenge in Johnson, Vermont. He discussed the issue of election recovery at another event in Rutland. He also recently did a TV interview on “Sound Off with Linda Kirker” based in St. Albans, and he had a meeting with the Rockingham County GOP.

But with the Aug. 9 primary election just weeks away, Bellows has a big uphill climb. He is running against a popular incumbent governor — Gov. Phil Scott scored the nation’s highest approval rating in November.

Nevertheless, he said Scott upsets many voters who make up his base support, and he’s willing to highlight those areas of discord to all who will listen.

“There’s a lot of controversy with our current governor, and I think they’d have a field day chatting with me,” Bellows said.

The candidate’s web site can be found online here.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

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8 thoughts on “Conservative challenger to Scott says voters most concerned with crime and education

  1. sent a donation, we need to support those who are willing to run. Thank you for running.

    Looking forward to voting for you and Thayer….we have some choices..TYL

  2. “Gov. Phil Scott scored the nation’s highest approval rating” in a slanted Leftist establishment propaganda “poll.”

    Literally every comment for every one of the Governors who supposedly “won” said their Governor was despised by the people and the poll was bull.

    Conservatives have to stop legitimizing Leftist media propaganda that is designed to manipulate our thinking and disempower us.

  3. Me too, Inflation, gas prices, crime (my little local store ..only one in town of 900 voters) was robbed at knifepoint saturday am……I think we can plan on seeing more and more… the police; they may have a bad apple here and there…..but lets compare to who is running our State, our Country…..I think we can all agree, the police are NOT the problem.
    lets hear what you say about curriculum for k-12, how about school choice (have that and have competition; every child and parent wins!)
    what about all this money into this state and a budget that is SO out of control…..trickle down..oh yes indeed. how about the “party line” where would you be on that?
    and finally who (little more party line…sorry) will you be beholden to??? DC? or voters in Vt???
    oh I have much more but that is a start………

  4. Scott’s rating is so high because all his fellow progressives including the RINOs respect that he very seldom goes against the failed progressive policies including gun control.

      • I know huh? Winning on a marxist platform in a marxist state does lead to high popularity….

        but for those who’d like our roots of a constitutional republic fostered, he doesn’t rate quite so high…

        You don’t have to be a marxist to appeal across the board.

        Even marxist want low crime, low drug dealing, good schools, good jobs and affordable homes……….

  5. Stephen Bellows, we need to know more about you and your run for Governor,
    we know all we need to know about Scott, a real disappointment for Vermont’s
    conservative values……………..

    • That can happen when the potential candidate is a liar and is willing to say anything to be elected and is a particularly spineless individual. Be that as it may we have to locate a better class of person to run for elected office and Vermont is sorely in need of,I too would like to hear of more of Mr. Bellows.

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