My name is Kendall Lambert and in March, I announced that I was seeking the Republican nomination to represent the Orleans 2 district in the Vermont House of Representatives.
It was a mistake.
I originally sought the Republican nomination because I consider myself a conservative. I believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, local control and I promise to fight tooth and nail for the individual liberties and freedoms guaranteed to us in the founding documents of our country – including our right to bear arms.
But here’s the truth: I also support gay marriage, sound immigration policy with a clear pathway to citizenship, racial equality, our common environment, and our teachers, first responders, police, and military personnel. Unfortunately, this cannot be reconciled with the Republican Party as it is today and I want nothing to do with it.
While the Republicans talk out one side of their mouths about constitutional rights and equal opportunity for all, it’s becoming increasingly clear that what they mean (as their national policies and rhetoric seek to codify racism, sexism, discrimination, and inequality) is that these principals actually apply only to a few. Foolishly, I thought Vermont was removed from this fundamentally un-American discourse. Turns out I was wrong.
I was embarrassed and saddened to read that Republican representatives of Orleans County – Gary Viens of Newport, Mark Higley of Lowell, Lynn Bachelor of Derby Line, and Brian Smith of Derby – voted against a resolution that condemned the Trump administration’s policy of forcefully separating children from their parents who crossed the border seeking asylum.
The malaise of our national leadership is spreading into Vermont in a way that I cannot fathom and it’s clearly beginning to define the Orleans Republican representatives. They failed to stand up for even the most basic rights of the most vulnerable. I refuse to be associated with a party that has embraced such callous and cold hearted positions. I believe in a Vermont and Northeast Kingdom that is better than that.
But don’t get me wrong, I also don’t believe I fit with the Democratic or Progressive Party either. The fact is, the party system is broken and I will no longer play its game.
I will be running as an independent even if it may cost me the election. This is the move I need to take to be faithful to my beliefs.
To the residents of the Orleans 2 and the Northeast Kingdom – know that if I am elected, I will not be beholden to any Party but rather to the principles of dignity, prosperity, and justice for everyone. Know that I will work with willing members of any party to achieve these goals. I will be your Representative in order to serve you and to uphold the constitution.
It’s time to vote in someone better and take the lead in our state. We need real change and real representation. Together we can move past partisan politics and create the community that we all want to live in.