Candidates campaign to represent Weathersfield and Cavendish in Vermont House

  • John Arrison (Courtesy photograph)

  • Stu Lindberg (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 10/20/2022 10:42:47 PM
Modified: 10/20/2022 10:42:45 PM

WEATHERSFIELD — Voters in Windsor District 2 will decide in November who will represent them in the Vermont House of Representatives.

On the ballot to represent the Upper Valley town of Weathersfield, as well as Cavendish, Vt. and Baltimore, Vt. are Democratic incumbent John Arrison, a 71-year-old Weathersfield resident, and independent Stu Lindberg, a 54-year-old from Cavendish.

The two candidates offer voters differing views on abortion, school choice and how best to address inflation and rising energy costs.

Lindberg, a former member of the Cavendish Selectboard and Cavendish Town Elementary School Board, said he opposes Article 22, a measure on Vermont’s ballot this election season that, if passed, would amend the Vermont Constitution to protect Vermonters’ reproductive rights.

He said that the state currently has laws that allow abortion and protect people’s access to contraceptives, so he doesn’t see a need for Article 22, which he said is “out of step with mainstream America, deliberately vague and undemocratic.”

“Does ‘personal reproductive autonomy’ entail human cloning or surrogacy trafficking? These are cultural conversations that we should be having as a society in our state,” he said. “Article 22 would prevent these critical dialogues by permanently tying the hands of legislators and voters.”

Arrison, a Weathersfield Selectboard member of 16 years, has a different position.

In a phone interview he said, “I think it’s unfortunate that the government became involved in a personal decision at all” in reference to the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade this past June. Now that the government is involved, he said, “I support Article 22.”

The two candidates also differ in their views on school choice and how far tax dollars should go to follow students should parents find their public school insufficient.

Lindberg said he supports school choice, at least in part because he worked for six years at the Pine Ridge School in Williston. His firsthand experience taught him “the importance of allowing parents to find and place their children in the best-suited and most appropriate environment that meets their unique needs. Taxpayer dollars should follow every child to the best school available to him or her, regardless of whether it is a public or private institution or a home schooling arrangement.”

Arrison, who has served on the House Education Committee, feels that “it’s when you start sending taxpayer money to religious schools, it becomes problematic.”

Meanwhile, to curb inflation, Lindberg said that he opposes recommendations made by the Vermont Climate Council to raise carbon taxes and fees on home heating fuels.

“We can prevent increasing fuel prices for these necessities on Vermonters who are already struggling to make ends meet,” he said. “If elected, I will be a solid no vote on any proposed taxes/fees that would artificially raise the price of energy on Vermonters.”

Arrison also said he would focus on helping low-income Vermonters and oppose tax raises as COVID-19 pandemic-era funds expire.

“The coming session is going to be a lot different than the previous session, in that in the previous session we were trying to figure how to spend money, in the coming session most of the federal money will have been earmarked already, it’s going to be a lot tougher to fully fund” programs that assist low-income Vermonters with heating and energy costs, he said. “Any program you have to find the funding, and I don’t think there’s any appetite for raising taxes.”

The two candidates have differing views on addressing climate change. Lindberg, a member of the Cavendish Volunteer Fire Department, said the state already has done the groundwork to support the environment.

“Vermont is the cleanest state, and our total energy consumption is the lowest of any state in the nation,” he said.

He said he would rather prioritize other issues such as “workforce depletion, an acute shortage in the rental market (...) record-high costs of motor vehicle and home heating fuels (...) middle-class and fixed-income families falling into poverty, staggering rates of drug overdose deaths, and a sharp increase in violent crime.”

For his part, Arrison said he would like to examine how the state is preparing to move away from fossil fuels.

“I have some serious concerns that we may not be putting enough emphasis on whether the electric grid can support the direction we’re headed,” he said.

Voting for Weathersfield voters will take place on Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Martin Memorial Hall, 5259 US Route 5, in Ascutney.

Vermont permits same-day registration. All registered voters should have received a mail-in ballot.

Laura Koes can be reached at

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