A little bit about me
As a candidate for the Vermont House, I want you to know that the places and people that have influenced me will continue to shape my viewpoints should voters send me to Montpelier.
I was born to Robert and Patricia Richards in 1955, in Yonkers, NY. My six brothers and one sister, all of whom were born in Rutland, have never stopped reminding me that I’m technically a flatlander. Nevertheless, I grew up in Fair Haven and attended its schools, from Kindergarten at the Grade School to FHUHS.
My father died young and our mother raised eight children by herself. She was a single Mom way before it was popular. I learned about strong women way before they were popular, too.
I joined the Navy in 1975 and spent three years active duty, and another three years onactive reserve. My service was in peacetime and I was never in harm’s way. We were ready to go, but thankfully were never called. While proud of my service to our country,it pales in comparison to the sacrifice of those who have had to face combat.
Shortly after active duty, I married Tracy Waters of North Bennington. We raised three boys; Sean, Brendan, and Timothy. They continue to be a source of pride to me. They all were Slaters, too. After the boys were in high school, Tracy went back to college. She earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, all while holding down a full-time job (strong women show up at the right time in my life, thankfully).
Raising children can rewarding, and it’s always thought-provoking. Like all parents, Tracy and I faced challenges along the way. Seeing the upstanding adults our kids have become is gratifying, but getting there wasn’t always easy. I remember when the boys were little there were proposals for state help with daycare. Our youngest will be 33 a couple of days after Early Voting starts, and state help with daycare is still just a proposal in Montpelier. Seems like high-quality, affordable daycare would be a pretty important thing for Vermont parents to have with what we’re going through now, and especially when the economy gets back on track.
As our kids were growing up, I wanted to show them the importance of serving theircommunity. I was first elected to the Fair Haven Select Board in 1990. Except for 2004-10, I have served on the Board since, with several terms as Chair. The perspectives I’ve gained from nearly three decades on the Board, and the lessons I’ve learned from the women and men I’ve served with, have given me insights into the work that needs to be done in Montpelier.
The most exceptional part of my life is that it is not exceptional. I have lived a life that’s probably a lot like yours: proud of my family, proud of the place we call home, and very proud to be a Vermonter.
I grew up in a large family, and learned how to be heard above the din. I have worked mostly blue-collar jobs my whole career. There have been days I’ve come home dirty and disgusted, worried about buying groceries, but then I’ve showered and spent the rest of the night trying to figure out how Fair Haven was going to afford the road repairs it needed.
The lessons I’ve learned in life, and all the people and circumstances that have provided that wisdom, have contributed to how I approach problems. The people in this district need a representative who can get things done in Montpelier. I’ve known my opponents in this race my whole life. They’re not bad people, and I’m not running against them out of any animus toward them. It’s just that for as long as they’ve been in the House, they haven’t done much for those of us back home.
After reading this, I hope even people I’ve known for a long time know me a little better. For anyone just getting to know me, or for any other voter in the district, please reach out to me. My contact information is on this page.
You deserve somebody who will be responsive. I look forward to starting an ongoing conversation, and I hope I can earn your vote in this fall’s election.