This op-ed is by Representative Don Turner, candidate for Lieutenant Governor
When we see a problem, we’re faced with two options: Run toward it, or run away.
As a first responder, I know that it takes courage and confidence to run toward the fire. And I’m ready to face Vermont’s challenges head-on.
My name is Don Turner, and it would be my honor to serve you as your next Lieutenant Governor. I don’t answer this call as someone untried or unpracticed -- I answer the call knowing full well the responsibility required, and with a promise to answer your call, regardless of what party you belong to, how much money you make, or what you believe in.
For my entire adult life, I’ve had the honor of serving my community of Milton. I joined the Milton Fire and Rescue Department 35 years ago, where I served 14 years as Fire Chief. In 2006, Governor Jim Douglas appointed me to be State Representative, where I am humbled to have been re-elected by my fellow Vermonters six times. I started as a freshman, and earned the trust of my colleagues to where they elected me House Minority Leader. And most recently, I was selected to be the Town Manager of my home town of Milton -- a job I thoroughly enjoy.
Serving my community is not new to me. During my 13 years in Montpelier, I’ve been in the Legislative Minority. In doing so, I’ve had to reach across the aisle--with Democrats, Progressives, and Independents -- to get important things done. My primary focus has been on stopping tax increases, and making life more affordable for Vermonters. But as I travel around the state, I hear from far too many Vermonters who can’t afford to keep their heads above water -- whether it’s the cost of child care, college, utilities, rent, or taxes and fees.
This has to stop.
Our demographic realities -- we’re getting grey while our kids are leaving for better job opportunities -- will create impossible financial challenges if we don’t start running toward the fire and confronting our challenges. We’ve made great progress with Governor Scott at the helm over the past two years -- but we have much more work to do.
As your next Lieutenant Governor, I will listen to the ideas of anyone who wants to expand economic growth to all 14 counties and help to combat the growing cost of living in this state. By focusing on tax relief, investing in affordable education, and continuing to fight for reforms that will boost true housing opportunities, we can help Vermonters get ahead and afford to stay here.
Finally, we must make sure the Lieutenant Governor’s Office is an area where all voices are heard and welcome. Over the past two years, we’ve seen too much of an emphasis on partisanship and not enough focus on partnership. The job of the Lieutenant Governor is not just to preside over the Senate -- it can also be used to bring people together, and break down barriers to inaction. That starts with welcoming all viewpoints and fostering collaboration on the issues Vermonters care about. As someone who's worked with colleagues of all political backgrounds, I will do exactly that.
I know the true nature of all Vermonters is to work together to overcome any obstacle or challenge, because it’s in our bones to protect each other. Together, we can restore balance, foster a collaborative spirit, and bring a focus on affordability to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
I would be humbled to have your support on November 6th.
Don Turner Jr.