Webster Confirms Run For the State Senate

Front Page / Aug. 24, 2006 12:00am EDT

Webster Confirms Run For the State Senate

Stephen Webster confirmed this week that he is a candidate for election as a Republican to the Vermont State Senate from the Orange senatorial district.

The district comprises 11 Orange County towns: Braintree, Brookfield, Chelsea, Corinth, Randolph, Strafford, Thetford, Tunbridge, Vershire, Washington, and Williamstown. Webster previously served in the Vermont legislature: three terms in the House of Representatives and five in the Senate. He served as president of the Senate in 1995-1996 and chaired the Senate Committee on Finance from 1993 to 1996.

Webster, a Republican, said that he is moved to run to support Gov. Jim Douglas's effort to make Vermont a more affordable place to live.

"While the goals of some recent legislation are laudable, such as high quality public education and health care for everyone," Webster said, "the economic incentives imbedded in Act 60, Catamount Health, the income tax system, and other legislation contribute to unrestrainable costs."

Webster said that legislators should think beyond just the first stage benefits of legislation and realize, for instance, that state-run health care will threaten the very existence of some of our hospitals and other health care providers.

Acts 60 and 68, he emphasized, are designed to ratchet up property taxes every year as property values increase. Webster would add a mechanism to automatically adjust tax rates downward as values rise.

Webster is a lawyer and a woodland manager. He and his wife, Susan Cliff, live in Randolph. In his election bid, he will face incumbent Sen. Mark MacDonald of Williamstown, a Democrat, who has not made a formal announcement, but has said he will run.

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