BARRE — Incumbents Ann Cummings and Anthony Pollina have been reelected to the Vermont Senate with newcomer Andrew Perchlik joining them.
Cummings, a Democrat, received 16,217 votes from 18 of the 20 towns in Washington County as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. Pollina, a Progressive Democrat, received 13,978 and Perchlik received 12,110. They bested their Republican counterparts where Chris Bradley received 7,241 votes, Ken Alger received 6,993 and Dwayne Tucker received 6,943. Independent Barre Wadle got 2,506 votes.
Cummings, of Montpelier, has been elected to her 12th consecutive term and said she was pleased with Tuesday’s results.
“I never take an election for granted,” she said.
Cummings plans to spend the next two years looking at reducing property taxes. She was on the Senate Finance Committee last session, a committee Cummings assumes she will remain on.
She also wants to find a way to fund education that is more affordable for residents in Vermont.
“We’re going to be looking at a more income-based system for funding education,” she said. The state currently uses a system based on property taxes to pay for education.
Cummings also expects the Legislature to look at raising the state’s minimum wage so that people can make a “livable wage.”
Pollina, of Middlesex, has been elected to his fifth term. He also said he was pleased with the result.
“I think it shows that people support the kinds of things that I support,” he said.
Pollina also wants to work on raising wages in the state so people have more money in their pockets and to move away from a property tax-based funding system for education.
“Right now the system we use to fund schools is not fair to middle income and lower income people because they are paying a larger percentage of their income to fund schools than wealthier people are,” he said.
Pollina was vice chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee last session and if he’s on that committee again he said he wants to see what can be done to help support farmers in Vermont. He said much is talked about when it comes to agriculture, but the state hasn’t really made an investment in it.
Perchlik, of Montpelier, said he was honored to be elected to the state Senate.
“I’m humbled and thankful to be given the chance to work for the whole county,” he said.
Though his campaigning days are done for now, Perchlik said he’s excited to get out into the county and meet even more of his constituents.
At the State House, he plans on working on issues such as child care, energy and economic development.
“As a freshman senator, not like I’m going to be running the show or anything,” he said.
But he said he wants to focus on how families are treated as well as early childhood development because “investing in our youngest citizens is the best way to ensure a prosperous and equitable society in the future.”