New GOP House member: Affordability 9 times out of 10 was main concern for voters

On WDEV radio last week, outgoing state Sen. Corey Parent, R-Franklin, interviewed one Republican and one Democrat state lawmaker to hear their views on the election and its potential impact on the upcoming legislative session.

Ashley Bartley – a new GOP representative at the Statehouse

Ashley Bartley

Ashley Bartley is among the new representatives from the Republican Party to win on Nov. 8. She represents the Franklin-1 District.

Parent asked Bartley what issues were most important to voters out on the campaign trail, and she said people are thinking about thir money.

“Affordability, nine times out of ten when talking to somebody, that was their main concern, [and] about how they are going to pay for their groceries — and also the carbon tax,” she said.

Bartley added that workforce development is another policy area she expects to be a priority in Vermont, and that her business experience would be a guide for her on shaping policy.

“In my day-to-day business life I am the director of Human Resources and Operations [for Neville Companies, Inc.], and we’ve been seeing the impacts of how COVID changed the workforce, and how most people feel that we are outside of the pandemic but it’s still really affecting our workforce and our labor markets,” she said.

This year the Vermont GOP lost ground in putting representatives at the State House. Republicans now make up just 38 out of 150 seats in the House, while maintaining seven in the Senate.

Bartley talked about what might be done differently in future elections to try and turn things around.

“[We need to] make the phone calls, go door-to-door, as chilly as it is, and do the sign waves,” she said.

She also said redistricting may have caused some confusion for voters. For example, part of Georgia was carved out and inserted into another district with Milton.

“I heard from a lot of people just days before the election that ‘when I got mailed my ballot I didn’t see your name — how come that is? I thought you were running in Georgia,'” she said. So there is a lot of confusion, and I’m hoping that after this election people will be able to kind of differentiate [the new districts].”

Democrat State Sen. Becca White

Becca White

Rebecca White, a Democrat from Hartford, has served in the Vermont House for the past four years. On Nov. 8 she won her race to become one of the state’s new senators from Windsor County.

In her interview on WDEV, she commented that her time in the State House was marked by a “follow the leader mentality” among colleagues.

“In the House, with 150 people, there is a follow-the-leader mentality which is needed — I’m not doubting that as an important thing,” White said. “But whatever your leadership is, whether it be your party or it’s the chair of your committee or a caucus, there’s not a lot of opportunity to be individual on certain issues, even if that’s how you feel.”

She said the economy differs based on where one lives in the state.

“We’re both experiencing thriving downtowns like in my hometown in White River Junction, and we’ve seen struggling downtowns such as Springfield,” she said.

White also discussed how the newer generation of younger politicians is using the internet and social media to engage with voters.

“When you look online you can find tons of information on how I feel on certain topics. That engages a whole group of people who wouldn’t go on the state legislative website and search my vote record,” she said.

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

Images courtesy of and

4 thoughts on “New GOP House member: Affordability 9 times out of 10 was main concern for voters

  1. Here is a fun video.

    Affordability has been the number one issue in Vermont for decades. Those countries that adopt marxist/socialist aka crony capitalism are ALWAYS unaffordable, because there is no free market.

    The soviet style housing brought in by none other than Bernie…..IS our issue. It is also one of the most corrupt systems in our government. Good ole boy net work on steroids. We can’t solve our problem because we are using the wrong tools. You can’t water plants with diesel fuel and expect them to grow.

    You can’t have affordability when the government is working and stealing against the common man anyway possible. Crony capitalism, is the first cousin to socialism and marxism, it’s the underlying issue to EVERY VERMONT AFFORDABILITY ISSUE…..EVERY ONE!

    VTGOP is part of the problem. Just see what the leaders say and do.

  2. Perhaps John O’Brien, Tunbridge’s and Royalton’s representative, can grant an interview to explain his plan, as a member of the Tunbridge selectboard, to privatize the public right of way that passes by the home in which he resides.

    We’re curious John. Is it a gated community that you seek? Increased real estate value? Protecting the “environment?” Plain old greed?

    Because you ran unopposed, we didn’t get a chance to hear you debate your position regarding the issue of stealing public rights of way from those whom you feign to represent.

  3. Until the outhouse, aka, the State House, is actually the People’s House again, the fraud will continue and no change will occur.

  4. Becca White is very nice but she is a complete ditz. She has no idea that VT is ranked as one of the least business friendly states and said that there’s an article showing that VT has the best CEO to worker rates in the country. God help us.

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