VPR Header
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
VPR News
Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Top Democratic Lawmakers To Face Republican Challenge

Flanked by former Republican Gov. James Douglas, a political newcomer announced a candidacy for the Vermont House Tuesday that will pit her against two well-known Democrats in Montpelier.

Republican Valerie Mullin, a mother of three who works as an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay cosmetics, says Vermont’s tax burden is too high, and that Democrats’ push for single-payer health care will harm the medical system in this state.

Mullin, a former business owner, says she’s never run for political office before. But she says she’s concerned about Vermont’s economic competitiveness

“I feel the very least that we could do is combine, or at least streamline, some of the regulations we’ve got, and make it easier for people to come here and work,” Mullin said Tuesday evening.  “And then also we need to be living within where our budget is, and not having this deficit that is going to get us in trouble.”

Mullin is running in the four-town, two-seat district held by Democratic Reps. Michael Fisher and David Sharpe, two-high profile figures under the Golden Dome. Fisher is a seven-term lawmaker who chairs the House Committee on Health Care. Sharpe is a six-term representative who serves as ranking member on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Fisher said he’s unaccustomed to having someone announce so far before the election. But he said he plans to reach out to Mullen to welcome her to the race.

“I understand it’s not personal, and that this is part of our democracy,” Fisher said.