Musical chairs among House leaders limited to Democrats’ caucus

A number of familiar faces are vying for leadership posts at the upcoming Democrat, Republican and Progressive caucuses.

Republicans convene on Nov. 28, making their leadership selections during an offsite luncheon. Don Turner, a state rep from Milton, hopes to maintain his position as House minority leader and said he hasn’t heard from anyone planning to challenge him.

“At this point I do want to continue in this role, and hopefully the caucus will re-elect me,” Turner said. Brian Savage, a representative from Swanton and current assistant minority leader, will also run for re-election; no one else has voiced interest in the position, according to Turner.

There may be slightly more competition during the Democrats’ caucus on Dec. 8. Willem Jewett, an Addison County rep who previously served as the assistant majority leader, will run for majority leader, a role vacated last year by former Caledonia Rep. Lucy Leriche. According to Jewett, Barre lawmaker Therese Taylor hopes to take over as assistant majority leader, but she may face competition from Waterbury Rep. Rebecca Ellis. Ellis said she is considering running but has not made a definitive decision yet.

Christopher Pearson, a Burlington representative, will seek support from his fellow Progressives to continue as their minority leader.

Independent Paul Poirier and Shap Smith will contend for Speaker of the House, a position Smith has held since 2009.

Alicia Freese

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