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



Rep. Hutchinson dies

Rep. Jim Hutchinson, a two-term Democrat from Randolph, has died. He was found dead yesterday in his home, fellow Rep. Patsy French said. He was a week shy of his 61st birthday.

Hutchinson, a big man with a big beard and booming voice, also served on the Selectboard in his native Randolph. He served on the Appropriations Committee in the Legislature.

"He was a wonderful person," said French, who knew him for many years and whose husband grew up with Hutchinson. The retired construction manager, who had worked as a crane operator, was a natural for local civic involvement, she said. "He loved being in contact with people, talking with constituents."

He had planned to run for re-election, filing his candidacy by last week's deadline.

House Speaker Gaye Symington said of Hutchinson:

"His booming voice never left anyone wondering where he stood, either in
principle on an issue, or in location in the House. His easy and deep
laugh must have made him a ready stand-in if Santa got way-laid on his travels
to rural Vermont.

"On behalf of the entire House, I send my deepest regrets to Jim's wife,
Leslie, and their family. I know his colleagues in the House will miss Jim
tremendously. Randolph has lost a true leader and voice of common sense
and integrity. Vermont is a wiser and kinder place because of his

- Terri Hallenbeck

Jim was a wonderful an intelligent man. He will certainly be missed!
Jim was a straight-shooter, a great guy who cared passionately about serving his constituents. He had a quick sense of humor, and was just a truly decent man. We'll all miss him.
"Wiser and Kinder" place, what kind of gooble-de-gook is that? Is that the best the Governor wannabe can come up with in reference to the passing of Jim?
Jim was a Great Man! Besides his political accomplishments, he was what made the Vt 100 Endurance Run a tremendous success. He was always a pleasure to talk with and always had a big grin on his face. I will truly miss Jim at future races.
> "Wiser and Kinder" place...

Jim was kind and wise, and brought that wisdom to every task he undertook, so that vast number of tasks benefited. I only knew Jim for the past 15 years or so, but he was one of the most generous, hard-working, selfless people I've ever met.

Jim became race director for the Vermont 100 Run because of his long-time support for Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, his real passion. He worked for many years there, from ski instructor to board president, and that unfaltering devotion brought joy and new abilities to people with disabilities from all over New England and beyond.

The loss of Jim is Vermont's loss, as well as a great personal loss for everyone who knew him.
To Anonymous 9:53p...

That was a pretty disgusting comment and certainly not needed or supported.
To anonymous 9:53p --- I agree that your comment was definitely a cheap shot and unwarranted!
Leave it to Symington.
One need not have the eloquence of Shakespeare to express sorrow at the loss of a decent, public-spirited citizen. It's small-minded and petty to criticize word choice in an expression of sympathy. There's a time to sling mud at your political opponents and a time to bite your tongue. Respect for the deceased and his family dictates being silent, if you won't send condolences to the family and friends. I, for one, am sorrowed at the sudden unexpected loss of a respected legislator.
It's a shame when rude people insist on injecting their political commentaries in an inappropriate place.

I knew Jim as a generous, fun, energetic and selfless man, who did Vermont proud for many years. His family and Vermont have lost a great leader and my condolences go to all of them.
Gee, ignorant anonymous trash with bupkis takin' issue with Symington's choice of words in paying tribute to a fellow legislator and friend upon his sudden and unexpected death because they've got no case and no clue.

Gee, what are the odds. No doubt it's all down hill from here for you gop swine.

Always a pleasure.
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