Rep. Cynthia Browning of Arlington will be running for re-election to the Vermont House as one of the two representatives for Arlington, Manchester, Sandgate and Sunderland. But this time around she will be running as an Independent rather than as a Democrat. “It is more important than ever that our district be represented by someone who has the expertise to develop creative solutions to the serious problems that we face,” said Browning. “And it is more important than ever to have a representative who has the courage to face difficult realities and to speak truth to power. At this juncture we need knowledge and independence not scattered or shallow backgrounds and submission.”
Browning has criticized the current House Democratic leadership on policy, on process, and on ethics, and has been censured and punished by the House Speaker. With the full force of the party establishment and two primary candidates arrayed against her in the primary, she has chosen to run as an independent to ensure that voters have a chance to choose her in November.
After serving seven terms in the House as a Democrat, Browning noted that she is a life-long Democrat, and that she shares the Democratic goals of improving the lives of ordinary Vermonters, investing in our communities, and protecting the environment. According to Browning, the Democratic majority in the House has been unable to achieve these goals fully because their policy proposals are often impractical and ineffective, too constrained by ideology, politics, special interests, and wishful thinking.
Browning noted that current House leadership has proven unable to put in place education finance reform and unable to extend high speed internet service to all Vermonters. These failures have weakened Vermont as we deal with the current economic emergency. Education property taxes will be higher than they otherwise would be, and many Vermont families have found it impossible to work and to go to school from home during the public health emergency. Vermont needs policies based on reality that will really work for Vermonters, and leaders are needed who can gather support for such policies.
Back in March when she first announced that she would run for re-election, Browning also announced that she would run for House Speaker. For now she is concentrating on continued service to this district during the elongated Legislative session. This session may not conclude until August sue to budgetary challenges. It is worth noting that there is no requirement that the House Speaker be a member of the House, so she could still run for that even if she were not re-elected.
“I have done my best to put my skills, energy, and determination to work for the Bennington-4 District. I have tried to do what is right even when it would be easier to just go along. There is no merit in going along with flawed policies and poor leadership. I believe that my expertise as an economist and my proven independence will be useful in forging creative and reliable policies to rebuild and strengthen our economy,” stated Browning.