BERKSHIRE — Newly elected Vermont House member Josh Aldrich will not be taking his seat in January.

Aldrich has decided to step down from his seat representing Berkshire, Franklin, Highgate and Richford.

He told the Messenger that a family member is ill and he fears family responsibilities might keep him from being in the House each day. “I’d rather people get represented every day,” he said.

In situations like this the county Republican Party will recommend three candidates to Gov. Phil Scott who will then appoint a new representative. The governor is not bound to appoint someone recommended by the party.

Aldrich was the top vote getter in the five-person race to fill two seats representing Franklin-5. The second seat went to Charen Fegard, a Democrat, also from Berkshire.

Shane Rhodes, a Richford Republican, was the third place vote getter.

Aldrich said his decision not to take his seat was not connected to a coupon for his bottle redemption business which supporters were handing out at the polls on election day. The coupon was a possible violation of election law, according to Will Senning, head of elections at the Secretary of State’s office, who referred the matter to the Attorney General.

After speaking with Senning, Aldrich told the Messenger he threw the coupons away.

In a second election controversy, Fegard pointing out that a letter to the Messenger endorsing Aldrich and Rhodes was signed by a purported Highgate resident of whom the town has no record.

 

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State investigating polling place coupon: Franklin-5 candidates may have crossed line