Donald Koch, a Barre native, is entering the Senate race in Washington – Waterbury Roundabout

I am a lifelong Vermonter, born and raised in Barre Town. I am an Eagle Scout from the former Troop 95 (now Troop 1) in Barre. I am an active member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Montpelier, where I am an active lay leader, often singing or singing the liturgy at festival services. I graduated from Spaulding High School in Barre in 1993 and from Johnson State College (now Vermont State University) in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Music. I attended Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary) and explored a call to rostered ministry before being led back to Vermont, which led to my current work as a truck driver and business owner, running my own independent trucking company. While I have mostly enjoyed that career for the past twenty years, I am now called back to my family farm in East Barre, and to serve the community.

The current state of affairs in Montpelier under the Democratic supermajority is driving up costs and driving businesses and people out of the state. Our highways and bridges are a disaster and our education funding methodology is fundamentally flawed. While I recognize that we can and should be better stewards of our environment, we must balance our actions with our financial resources and our lifestyle. We are not Los Angeles, and California should not dictate our environmental policies. We, the people of Vermont, should decide what’s best for us, instead of people who don’t represent us.

I believe in law and order for everyone. I support our police and reject any efforts to defund the police. I believe that current progressive policies are crippling the ability of the police and legal system to effectively enforce our laws. I believe that repeat offenders and those who violate their conditions should be detained, rather than continually released on the condition that they do not violate their conditions. We need a constitutional amendment to allow the courts to end catch and release. Constitutional amendments can only originate in the Senate, and if elected, I will introduce a constitutional amendment to fix our bail laws – something our current three senators have failed to do.

I am a supporter of the Second Amendment, and as your Senator, I will only support bills that support and strengthen our rights. I believe it is time to stop focusing on ‘gun violence’, but rather on the causes of ‘violence’.

I believe in the sanctity of the Constitution, not just the parts I agree with, but EVERYTHING.

Finally, I believe that our elected officials work for the people and should keep their constituents informed about the issues and their activities. Lawmakers should seek input from their constituents and listen to their concerns. Lawmakers should not be mere rubber stamps on the party agenda, but rather faithful stewards who represent all their constituents, not just special interests and their own party.

Barre resident Donald Koch is a Republican primary candidate for the Washington Senate District that includes Washington County and the cities of Stowe, Orange and Braintree.

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