With the August 9 primaries fast approaching, Vermont News & Media sent out a questionnaire to candidates with three questions: 1) What qualifications make you the best candidate for this position? 2) What are the three most important issues or challenges for the future and how would you address them? and 3) What Vermont traditions do we need to preserve in Green Mountain State?
Isaac Evans-Frantz, Democratic candidate for the United States SenateWe are in times of crisis. Many of us cannot afford decent healthcare, housing or childcare. The climate emergency, violence near and far, and other issues have left many of us beyond stressed.
To meet these challenges, we need a leader who will bring the voice of everyday Vermonters to Washington. It’s the job I’ve done for decades, and it’s the job I will do as a U.S. senator.
I was born and raised in Brattleboro, where my father was a bookseller and my mother cleaned houses and took care of children. I grew up with the Vermont tradition of caring for our neighbors – a tradition we should continue.
As a gay man from a low-income family, my concern for the rights and welfare of others is personal. Organizing for justice is at the center of my life.
I have built, led and supported coalitions that:
Established student seats on the Vermont State Board of Education (Governor Dean later appointed me to the board);
Barriers removed to the growth of Vermont’s dental workforce;
Securing congressional passage of a bipartisan bill to end US support for the ongoing Saudi war in Yemen; and
Secured $650 billion in global COVID relief for 190 countries last summer — including $2.7 billion for Ukraine — without costing U.S. taxpayers a dime.
On many current political issues, my opponent Peter Welch and I agree. But we differ sharply on how to restore voter confidence.
I fear that Welch took massive sums of money from the corporate PAC for the majority of his time in Congress. I’m disappointed that it was only after facing the press that he changed his stance on: corporate PAC money (VTDigger, April 2022); individual stock trading by members of Congress (Business Insider, July 2022); and a bill he championed that made it easier to divert prescription drugs to the black market (Valley News, May 2018). I am frustrated that he dodged key questions during our debates, including the favors he did for big pharma and arms manufacturers. I am disheartened that he has already spent over $1.7 million on this race – against me, a fellow Democrat.
I’m the candidate who will never take a penny in corporate PAC money. I am the candidate who will not use my position for personal gain, who will not trade shares as a senator. I am the candidate who will put the concerns of everyday Vermonters above all else, and my door will always be open to you.
We need a new generation of leaders who will restore people’s trust in our government – so that we can win the victories we need to thrive. As a historically Democratic state, whoever wins the August 9 Democratic primary is likely a November shoo-in. The opportunity now is to send an activist to Washington, a national coalition builder who has achieved real results, who will push for bold policies – instead of settling for the status quo.