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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



A night at the fights

Somebody asked me on my way out of the office today if I was sick of these political debates yet. At the risk of exposing my own sickness, my answer was no.

Then I traipsed off to see the two Chittenden County state’s attorney candidates duke it out. In my book, you don’t get sick of stuff like this.

No boxing gloves were used, no physical punches were thrown, but on a philosophical level, they duked it out. Moderator Mark Johnson, under the impression that the debate was supposed to last an hour, waved the white flag after 90 minutes. The crowd of police, prosecutors and a few stray others wanted more, but without Johnson there to referee things could have gotten ugly.

It is an odd day when cops ask a member of the media (Johnson) to be the referee in a fight. So fierce was the debate, the candidates hardly needed Johnson or the audience to interrupt the flow with questions.

The state’s attorney’s race might not grab as much of voters’ or the media’s attention as the other campaigns, but Chittenden County residents would be making a mistake if they didn’t tune in to this one. Arguably, the person who decides how to prosecute the crimes in your county has more direct impact on your life than the person you send to Washington or Montpelier.

Plunk down 50 cents and read about the debate in Saturday’s Free Press.

- Terri Hallenbeck

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