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Govs. Lynch and Douglas visit the Lancaster Fair

September 09, 2009
LANCASTER — Governors from both sides of the Connecticut River visited the Lancaster Fair on Friday afternoon to chat with constituents, shake voters' hands, check out the products offered by numerous vendors, eat Robillard's apple crisp, and josh with one another in the Fuller's Sugarhouse.

Gov. John Lynch of New Hampshire, a 57-year-old Democrat, said he had not yet made up his mind about whether he would run in 2010 for a fourth two-year term. Sworn in as the state's 80th Governor in 2005, Gov. Lynch was re-elected in 2006 and 2008. But neither did he rule out the possibility. "You'd want to decide to step down when your stock is up," Gov. Lynch said.

Gov. Jim Douglas, a 58-year-old Republican, on the other hand, recently announced he would not run for a fifth two-year term in 2010. "It's time," he said in response to inquiries from several admirers on the fairgrounds who told him that they regretted his decision. Gov. Douglas, who was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1972, the same year he graduated from Middlebury College, said that after 15 statewide elections and 36 years in the political spotlight, it was time to step down.

After greeting one another in the Lancaster Fair's VIP parking lot off Route 3, Gov. Douglas explained to Gov. Lynch that he regretted he had not been able to visit the Workers' Assistance Center (WAC) with him earlier in the day in Colebrook. Gov. Douglas said that the WAC visit was held at the same time as the funeral for a Vermont firefighter who had died in the line of duty.

Brian Bresnahan of Groveton, who headed up the WAC in Groveton that was set up to assist laid-off Wausau workers, is now working to assist the employees laid off from the Ethan Allen plant Beecher Falls.

While in Colebrook, Gov. Lynch also joined town, PPL Renewable Energy, and Casella Waste officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new gas-to-energy project at the now-capped landfill.

Gov. Lynch and he discussed their feelings of grief at such deaths as well as those of members of the armed forces killed in Iraq and Afghanistan whose funerals they attend.

Shaking off their intense feelings, the two men then strolled through the Lancaster Fair. Two Republican legislators — Rep. Bill Remick of Lancaster and Rep. Janice Peaslee of Guildhall — accompanied them, as well as Gov. Lynch's North Country staffer Rich McLeod of Franconia and economic development specialist Beno Lamontagne of Colebrook, who works for the state Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED).

Lancaster School music teacher Jason Labore introduced himself to Gov. Lynch and thanked him for the state aid he has secured for the state's public schools. Chris Allin of Lancaster, who was also on hand to play that day with the Twisted Ph8 Band, also shook Gov. Lynch's hand.

Gov. Lynch stopped to speak with Randy Cicchetto and Bobbie Aversa of Jericho Motorsports on Route 110 in Berlin as well as those staffing the booth of the Colebrook-based Smart Energy of New England, which sells and installs solar panels and residential wind turbines.

Entrepreneur Barry Normandeau of Lancaster presented both governors with sample bags of a proprietary blend of volcanic minerals manufactured by MoleculLoc LLC of Groveton.

The two governors posed for photographs with the extended Fuller family, and with much hilarity Gov. Lynch presented Gov. Douglas with a small jug of Granite State syrup, touting it as the world's very best. Rep. Peaslee purchased dishes of apple crisp a la mode for both governors from Cindy and Tracie Robillard, both of St. Johnsbury, Vt. The apples were grown in New Hampshire at Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill, however, they pointed out.

Gov. Lynch also stopped at the state Fish and Game Department's booth and talked with Lt. Doug Gralenski of Gorham, who heads up the Region 1 and is temporarily on light duty following shoulder surgery, and Conservation Officer Matt Holmes of Dalton. C.O. Holmes discussed the carryout mission in Bethlehem in which he had participated the previous evening for an injured member of the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Martin Lord Osman
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