After a great deal of thought and consideration over the last two months, I have decided that I will not run for Vermont governor this year. Given the incredible support and encouragement I have received from Vermonters all over the state, this decision was a very difficult one, but it is simply not the right time for me.
As a native Vermonter, I have deep concerns about the direction in which this state is headed, and have worked diligently for 8 years in the House of Representatives to address those concerns. Unfortunately, instead of smoothing out the road for Vermont families and businesses by making things a little less costly and a little less complicated, the governor and Democratic supermajority in Montpelier does the opposite, creating frost heaves and putting up roadblocks to success.
We have a still stagnant economy with anemic growth; we are facing yet another $70 million shortfall in our state budget next year as projected increases in spending outpace our revenues; Montpelier continues to refuse to address the issue of skyrocketing property taxes; and, the anxiety Vermonters are feeling right now with regard to a $2.2 billion taxpayer financed, single payer health care system is palpable.
We need commonsense leadership that puts Vermonters first. We need a governor who will listen and learn from Vermonters about their challenges and opportunities, and one who will put Vermonters first by leading with strength, conviction, and transparency.
While I am certain that I would provide that kind of leadership, it is simply not the right time for me to run for governor.
I will, instead, run for reelection to the House of Representatives and hope that I have the honor to continue to serve my hometown of Stowe in that capacity. I will continue my vigorous advocacy for a long-term strategy for economic growth, a comprehensive reform of our education and education funding system, and health care reform that works for all Vermonters.
We must foster an economy in which opportunities abound; in which we encourage investment in Vermonters and Vermont ideas; in which we celebrate and reward the success of our innovators and entrepreneurs; and in which we truly support the thousands of small businesses around the state providing good jobs to Vermonters.
We must work together to develop and education system that is student-focused; a system that provides a world-class education that prepares Vermont students for the 21st century global economy in which we now live. But, we must do it at a price Vermonters can afford, and in a way that reconnects taxpayers both to the budgets voted upon and money spent, and to the outcomes achieved.
And we must develop a health care system that focuses on the patient and not on politics. We must first make Vermont Health Connect work, and then do all we can to open up the Exchange to provide Vermonters with more and better health care options at lower costs.
I am privileged to serve my constituents and eager to continue fighting for our state. We can do better. We must do better.
Rep. Heidi E. Scheuermann