Three Republicans eye ‘Chittenden Six’ for Senate as election season heats up

state of Vermont

The Chittenden Senate district is represented by Progressive-Democrats Tim Ashe, Philip Baruth and Chris Pearson (from left at top), and Democrats Virginia Lyons, Michael Sirotkin, and Debbie Ingram (from left at bottom).

With the surprise addition of a former state representative winning a seat as a write-in during the recent primary, the GOP now has three Senate candidates ready to take on the left-wing “Chittenden Six.”

The six incumbent senators from Chittenden County have become a dominant force in the Statehouse in recent years. Running for election this year as a slate, they are Progressive-Democrats Tim Ashe, Philip Baruth and Chris Pearson, and Democrats Debbie Ingram, Virginia Lyons and Michael Sirotkin.

But the GOP believes it can break that stronghold with the emergence of three strong candidates this year: former state Rep. Paul Dame, of Essex; Air Force veteran Dana Maxfield, of Milton; and business intelligence analyst Alex Farrell, of Burlington.

Unlike the incumbents, who faced challengers in the primary, the Republican candidates ran uncontested. Nevertheless, the hopefuls say with the help of independents and angry gun owners upset by the anti-gun voting record of the Chittenden Six, they might be able to win in the general election.

Paul Dame

Paul Dame, of Essex Junction

“There are a lot of ticket splitters in Vermont,” Dame told True North. “All the polling data I’ve seen suggests that independents make up the largest voting block, more than Republicans and more than Democrats.”

Dame is a surprise entry into the race. He sneaked onto the ballot with his write-in votes. He said as chair of the Essex Town Republicans he encouraged voters to write people in, and they took his advice.

He has a distinguished business background, having been named one of Vermont Business Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. Regarding the issues that matter most to him as he heads out on the campaign trail, he said addressing the opiate crisis ranks high on the list.

“When I was in the House, we had a wait-list of almost 500 people in Chittenden County on this list to receive medication-assisted treatment, and that wait-list has been basically eliminated,” he said.

On water cleanup, Dame says he wants to help navigate the strict guidelines at the Agency of Natural Resources and get the right remedies to fix wastewater and Lake Champlain issues.

“In terms of approving even stormwater projects that are trying to clean up the lake and clean up the environment, ANR has some pretty rigid rules about who gets funding, how they get it, and they are kind of looking for projects that don’t really exist,” he said.

Dana Maxfield

Dana Maxfield, of Milton

Maxfield, a native of Burlington who was stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany during his Air Force years, has since earned a degree back home and become a sales specialist in the agricultural industry. He says getting Vermont’s economy on track is tops on his agenda.

“I’d say that the number one thing is affordability in general,” he said. “We do have a lot of tax burden on us, particularly in Chittenden County. That’s one of the big things that we keep on hearing.”

He said younger people in the area struggle to find an affordable place to live.

“Their concerns tend to be the high taxes as well as affordable housing,” he said. “I mean, when I moved back to Vermont after I got out of the military, I didn’t even consider renting when I saw what rent was versus what a mortgage payment would be.”

On the Second Amendment, he strongly opposed S.55, which expanded background checks, restricted magazine capacity, and raised the purchase age for buying guns.

“I don’t see any kind of benefit from any of it,” he said. “It seems to me that [Gov. Phil Scott] was trying to accomplish keeping people safe, specifically our children’s schools. And that bill did absolutely nothing to accomplish that.”

He said he would support armed school resource officers or well-trained staff in Vermont’s schools, and noted the need to protect school kids could offer an employment opportunity for veterans who are out of work.

“You know we are already trained,” he said. “Could we open that up as a good opportunity of employment for veterans, to transition back into civilian life and still feel like they’ve got a mission?”

On the issue of the minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, he said that’s not affordable for businesses, or for workers.

“I don’t think anybody is going to see any extra money in their pockets,” he said.

In a prior interview with True North, Farrell said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, although he does support background checks. On other issues, he said he would like to expand pre-kindergarten, reform Act 250 to promote business development, and keep property taxes down.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of state of Vermont, Paul Dame and Dana Maxfield
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10 thoughts on “Three Republicans eye ‘Chittenden Six’ for Senate as election season heats up

  1. Don’t overlook Dr. Louis Myers, running as an independent. The Senate could badly use an MD who knows all the special deals and cost inflating practices in the medical system.

  2. There shouldn’t be allowed to have so many Senators from a single county. Make it like the US, only two per state. It would be more balanced and not so dominate and controlling. Send these 6 jerks back to whare they came form and go on welfare as they have caused so many to be on it.

    It’s not the VT way.

  3. I will be bullet voting for the three challengers and only those three,no one else.
    The six should have earned the scorn of every Liberty minded Vermonter,by violating their oaths of office.

  4. These 3 will need a lot of cash to get their messaging out! I’m fairly new here but have learned that as Chittenden Co votes, so votes the state.

  5. I like this article for making things clear to me. Dana Maxfield, Paul Dame and Alex Farrell for VT senate!

  6. Hi Matt, they don’t censor as much here as Digger huh?

    Affordability, School Funding and our Drug problem those are the three on peoples minds. All of them are highly if not completely controlled by lobbyists. It’s a bit of a farce that our elected leaders are calling the shots, it’s all from lobbyists, PAC’s and out of state money.

    It’s why we want to tax the PAC….which is really bribe money.

    Notice how nobody is talking about our corruption and Ethics? $200 million dollar scam in EB-5, 1.3 million mission in a little town of Coventry, Victory with it’s out of state voting pool and our extra fine ethics grade of D- one of the countries lowest? Nope won’t see NPR, Digger, or anyone else talking about that. How about Leahy’s deal for the F35…..all complaints should be going to his office.

    Leaders get their millions in campaign funding for little Vermont office and we can never get rid of them. That’s why some in Vermont on working to have our state be the first to have Term limits from selectboard to governor.

    We’re looking for smart, kind hearted, frugal Vermonters to join our efforts.

    • Hi Neil, absolutely correct. I notice digger is running ads from union teachers, Nothing independent about vt digger, they are just another bought and paid for democrat tool. They shouldn’t be given non-profit status, we all know they pick and choose who is allowed to post. Digger is just another puppet for the left, nothing independent about them.

  7. The “six” are owned by the big public education monopoly and other special interest groups. I guess they like the promised campaign cash and union votes. The far left wackos are ruining Vermont, it’s time for a change.

  8. Good News Three Republicans eye ‘Chittenden Six’ for Senate as election season heats up!!
    Time to bring Chittenden County back from its Progressive agenda and it’s foolish feel-good
    tax burden Socialist Policies.

    All the Homeowners, check your tax bills again this year. Have these six helped or hindered
    you and your way of life? Nothing is free, but they think it is!

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