Voters in Johnson, Hyde Park, Wolcott and Belvidere have sent two Democratic incumbents back to Montpelier.
Dan Noyes and Matt Hill, both from Wolcott, won re-election Tuesday, outdistancing Mike King, a Johnson independent with Libertarian leanings.
Noyes and Hill were elected together as freshmen in 2016 and have mostly voted with their party, with Noyes a notable exception for voting against a set of firearms bills signed into law this year.
Hill said that, “unfortunately,” he hasn’t seen a whole lot of difference on the campaign trail this year versus 2016.
“People are still struggling to find good jobs. They still struggle to pay their bills,” he said. “People are gonna have to be more nimble with their skills.”
He said after two years of tight state budgets, he’d like the Legislature to pass some policies that help lower wage earners.
Hill was clerk of the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development his first two years in the Legislature, and would like to “work my way up the ladder” in that committee.
At the same time, he said, “Each committee has a very important role to play in the grand scheme of things, so I’d be happy to serve on any committee.”
Noyes was part of the House Committee on Human Services, and said that in 2018, as was the case two years ago, the affordability of living in Vermont and access to affordable health care remain priorities he’d like to address.
Noyes was a highly visible person this election season, appearing at events that weren’t even part of his district — at a debate for the Cambridge/Waterville candidates, at a special meeting in Stowe to discuss school district mergers.
“It’s always good to get out there and talk to people, listen to them, and be available,” he said.
That includes King, the independent who ran against Noyes and Hill.
“I think Mike put some effort into this, and he needs to be heard, just like anyone else,” Noyes said. “I need to be able to represent him as well as everyone else down in Montpelier.”
The three candidates hung out much of the day in Johnson, Hill and Noyes in cold-weather gear and King in a tan suit, a little shivery and a little unsure about how well he’d done as a heretofore unknown political entity.
King deadpanned that since the newspaper was taking a photo of him and Noyes standing together, he was going to tell people Noyes endorsed him.
There was a slow but steady trickle of voters into and out of the municipal building.
King said he’s already interested in running again in 2020, but he’d likely run under the Libertarian Party banner instead of as an independent.
“They backed me and helped me do the majority of the work and helped me get the votes,” King said. “The best thing that came out of this campaign. I know at least a thousand people are gonna listen to what I have to say.”