Three Democrats seek two Windsor-area House seats

  • John Bartholomew (Courtesy photograph)

  • Paul Belaski (Courtesy photograph)

  • Elizabeth Burrows (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 8/1/2022 8:54:28 PM
Modified: 8/1/2022 8:54:21 PM

WINDSOR — Three Democrats are competing in Vermont’s Aug. 9 primary for two House seats representing the Windsor-1 District including Hartland, Windsor and West Windsor: John Bartholomew, of Hartland, Paul Belaski, of Windsor, and Elizabeth Burrows, of West Windsor.

The incumbents are Bartholomew, a 12-year veteran in the Vermont House, and Burrows, who was first elected in 2020. Both representatives are seeking reelection this term. Belaski has previously served the district in 2017-18 and is hoping to win back the seat this time around.

Bartholomew, a former veterinarian and retired U.S. Public Health Service officer, said, “there is much more to be accomplished.”

Bartholomew, long-standing member of Vernont’s Climate Solutions Caucus, identified the imperative need to follow a Climate Action Plan that includes incentives for Vermonters to use alternative energy sources, reduce emissions and increase usage of renewable energy. He emphasized that his top priority as a legislator are the people and state of Vermont in many facets including, health care, wages, employment and affordable housing.

“Our important pre-pandemic issues have not gone away and, in some cases, are probably even more critical,” Bartholomew wrote in a statement. “These include climate change, food insecurity, opioid abuse, health care, social justice, education funding, transportation, and viability of small farms.”

To address these issues he said, “It is imperative that we pass a balanced budget, as we do each year, that limits our state spending while protecting the most vulnerable Vermonters and addressing our pressing problems. Reduction in services cannot be the only answer to reduce state expenditures. Our state agencies and departments must deliver services to Vermonters in an effective and cost-efficient way.”

Belaski, who served Windsor-1 in the 2017-2018 term, said his experience as an architect contributed to his work on the Corrections and Institutions Committee. While he acknowledged that there are many challenges facing the state and nation some of his top priorities include workforce housing, child care, protecting the environment and affordable health care.

Belaski said, “I’m concerned that the state may become unaffordable for residents and we are losing many younger people that can’t afford to stay, live and work in the state.”

He envisions a state that is healthy, safe, affordable and secure. He echoes that Vermonters share the same concerns, “I believe that affordability, (that includes wages as well as housing), access to childcare, and climate change continue to be major concerns.”

Burrows was elected in 2020 and has served on the House Committee on Health Care. Over the years, Burrows has worked to serve humanitarian causes near and far from a human rights organization in Prague to the Mount Ascutney School Board, which she chairs. She said she is committed to addressing systemic racism and inherent biases.

Burrows imagines an equitable Vermont where individuals all have access to the resources they need to thrive.

“These are factors that all contribute to a person’s health and well-being, including clean air and environment; safe, affordable and healthy housing; access to nature; accessible social supports; public safety; accessible transportation; social norms and attitudes; socioeconomic conditions; language; culture; access to technology; availability of resources to meet daily needs; and accessible healthcare,” she said. “Equity in those elements — that is, everyone getting what they need to live good lives (which is not the same as everyone getting the same thing) — is fundamental to social determinants of health.”

Early voting began June 24 and will continue through Aug. 8. In-person polling will be held Aug. 9. Polls in Hartland will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Damon Hall, 1 Quechee Road. Voting in West Windsor will be at Story Memorial Hall, 22 Brownsville-Hartland Road, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polls in Windsor at the Windsor Recreation Center Gymnasium, Windsor Municipal Building, 29 Union Street will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Laura Koes can be reached at

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