Chittenden County state’s attorney to face opponent in Democratic primary

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:16 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Law and order will be on the ballot this summer in Chittenden County with a Democratic primary for state’s attorney.

Incumbent State’s Attorney Sarah George announced her reelection campaign Wednesday morning on Twitter. She touted her record of supporting victims, families, and people charged with crimes and says there is more work to do to build a fair and equitable system.

Sarah George has served as the Chittenden County State’s attorney for five years. She says she wants to continue in that role and is seeking re-election.

But this is the first time she is being challenged by another Democrat in the primary.

“People stand to lose a lot of control and power and money from a lot of the policies I have implemented and a lot of the work I do, so it’s not surprising someone would run against me,” George said.

Her opponent, Ted Kenney, says there are a lot of things that need to change in Chittenden County, including the approach to alternative justice, which focuses more on rehabilitation than consequences.

“Right now, we’re looking first and foremost for alternative justice solutions in cases I don’t think they’re appropriate for,” Kenney explained.

Kenney is also focused on the opioid crisis, saying his brother struggled with substance use before being murdered.

“That inspired me to become a lawyer because I wanted to help people in his circumstances,” Kenney explained. “But also stand up for the higher ideals that I felt were not really applied to his life.”

While George acknowledges her views are progressive, she’s hoping to continue her work on creating an equitable system to address race and class issues.

“We, like most things, have tried to rely on the criminal justice system to fix those issues in the past,” George said. “When our legal system isn’t fully operational, we have had to figure out other ways to accomplish the same goals.”

While Kenney says there’s no animosity between the two of them, George says he’s made several inaccurate statements about her work, including misleading people about her policies surrounding conditions of release for violent offenders and immediate referral of all youth offenders to juvenile court.

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