Hartwell won’t seek fifth term in state Senate, Campion eyes seat

Editor’s note: This article is by Tom Momberg of the Bennington Banner, in which it was first published June 5, 2014.

Sen. Robert Hartwell. VTD/Josh Larkin

Sen. Robert Hartwell. VTDigger file photo

BENNINGTON — Sen. Bob Hartwell, D-Bennington, announced this week that he will not seek re-election to the Vermont Senate. That same day, Rep. Brian Campion, D-Bennington 2-1, declared his intention to run for Hartwell’s seat.

Campion must collect 100 nominating signatures by the filing deadline of June 12. Following the filing date, Campion said he will begin a joint campaign with Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington.

“I’m excited to be running alongside Senator Sears,” Campion said during a visit to the Banner along with Hartwell and Sears on Wednesday afternoon. “We will be running as a team. … I thought about this opportunity in the future, but I’m excited to run now.”

Sears said health care, the state’s economy, rising property taxes and education will be the foundation to his and Campion’s campaign.

Campion served on the House education committee for four years. “All of these issues are intertwined … I think working with teachers, parents and others is the way for us to put together a comprehensive education plan for this state,” he said.

Rep. Brian Campion, D-Bennington.  Photo by John Herrick

Rep. Brian Campion, D-Bennington. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Campion said he will seek the guidance of Hartwell and Sears moving forward into his senate campaign. They both added their signatures Wednesday to the first dozen Campion had collected for his filing petition.

“They have both been great to me: Not only with the endorsement, but up in (Montpelier). I feel like I have built a very strong relationship with them,” Campion said.

Sears said he was taken by surprise when Hartwell told him last week that he was not seeking re-election. “I had no idea, quite frankly,” Sears said. “I was unprepared, but then I sent an email to Brian and to President Pro Tempore John Campbell. We are glad that Brian is willing to step in. ”
Hartwell said he intends to remain involved with legal issues regarding the environment and land use in Vermont, but even more so on the Massachusetts coast.

Hartwell married Wendy Woods of Cape Cod, Mass., in October 2013. He said his primary reason for not running is to enable him to move to Cape Cod and spend time with his family and wife.

“I will be able to continue to pursue my passion for the environment and land conservation while enjoying the waters in and around Pleasant Bay,” he said.

Hartwell endorsed Campion’s campaign for the House in 2010, and said his faith in Campion as a legislator has been reinforced during Campion’s four years in the Legislature. He said he hopes to see Campion as his successor.

Hartwell will leave behind his membership to the administrative rules committee, finance committee and legislative information technology committee in the senate.

He chairs the Natural Resources and Energy Committee, which he said he felt most passionately about.

“It’s a tough assignment loaded with policy, opinion and problems that don’t get funded, but it is very important,” Hartwell said.

He said other considerations went into his deciding not to seek a fifth term, but that he will miss the Bennington community more than he will the Legislature.

“I am somewhat concerned that the Washington, D.C., syndrome of partisanship and the displeasure that comes with it is going to sweep over the states, and even in Vermont,” Hartwell said. “It is not an environment that I work very well in: I’m kind of a moderate. Getting shot at by one side is one thing. Getting shot at by both sides is a little more difficult.”

With the retirement of Rep. Anne Mook, D-Bennington 2-2, and Campion’s campaign for the senate, two of the four Bennington state representative seats are open to candidates without incumbency.

Contact Tom Momberg at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg.

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11 Comments on "Hartwell won’t seek fifth term in state Senate, Campion eyes seat"

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Paul Lorenzini
1 year 11 months ago

Sorry, I meant Bob. The D confused me.

Paul Lorenzini
1 year 11 months ago

Alright, I will retype my opinion…….

Dear Bob Hartwell,

If you loved Vermont so much, why retire to Cape Cod?

Bob Orleck
1 year 11 months ago
Quote from the article “Hartwell married Wendy Woods of Cape Cod, Mass., in October 2013. He said his primary reason for not running is to enable him to move to Cape Cod and spend time with his family and wife.” I say goodbye and I am glad you are leaving. I wish the ego-driven Peter Galbraith would go with you. Both of you did a very dishonorable thing by changing your vote on the physician assisted suicide bill the way you did. You aided and abetted the Vermont Democrat legislature into committing “legislative malpractice” and I don’t think you are… Read more »
Jason Farrell
1 year 11 months ago
1 year 11 months ago

I’m sorry to see Senator Hartwell leave and wish him well.

He was one of the few in the legislature who understood that the means to the end in energy policy matter. The means have to be rational and respectful to the people and environment the ends are meant to serve.

I believe that Senator Hartwell recognized that too much deference has been (is) being paid to the financial interests of the developers at a cost to the common good…..a dynamite he fought to change.

Coleman Dunnar
1 year 11 months ago

The Senate is loosing a statesman and a well reasoned voice.

Kim Fried Newark, Vermont
1 year 11 months ago

We’re also loosing a Senator who would always take the time to speak with citizens.
Thank you Senator Hartwell for serving the best interests of Vermont and all Vermonters.

Vanessa Mills
1 year 11 months ago

Senator Bob Hartwell is a class act. And he’s in favor of letting the public voices be heard. Under current administration, such a perspective draws fire.

Thank you for your dedication, Senator Hartwell. Best to you.

1 year 11 months ago
Thank you, Senator Hartwell, for your service. Thank you for your prudent, seasoned approach in addressing environmental issues in our state. Thank you for seeing through the green speak surrounding the wireless smart meter scam, allowing Vermonter’s to opt out of this odious technology without incurring an extortionate fee. It’s entirely possible, as many zealots aver, that the bulk of climate change is derived from human activity, of the geoengineering kind. Dumping tons of aluminum, cesium, and other particulates into the atmosphere is a major contributor to the extreme weather events experienced around the country; severe droughts in the west,… Read more »
1 year 11 months ago
(Hi – revised re: typos – plz use this one- thanks) Thank you, Senator Hartwell, for your service; for your prudent, seasoned approach in addressing environmental issues in our state; for seeing through the green speak surrounding the wireless smart meter scam, allowing Vermonters to opt out of this odious technology without incurring an extortionate fee. It’s entirely possible, as many zealots aver, that the bulk of climate change is derived from human activity, of the geoengineering kind. Dumping tons of aluminum, cesium, and other particulates into the atmosphere is a major contributor to the extreme weather events experienced around… Read more »
1 year 11 months ago

I hope Senator Hartwell joins forces with
Halt ‘smart’ Meters in Massachusetts
http://haltmasmartmeters.org/
I meant to add a recent interview with Josh del Sol, Director and Producer of the documentary – Take Back Your Power.
It’s worth listening to, better yet, watch the movie, available online.
Smart Meters & Smart Grid… What’s the Real Story?
http://www.takebackyourpower.net/news/2014/05/25/interview-smart-meters-smart-grid-whats-real-story/

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