By: Courtney Isom
Editor’s Note: The following interview has been edited lightly for clarity and brevity.
Patrick Seymour is a current freshman at Lyndon majoring in business. He is currently running to be the democratic nominee for the Caledonia 4 district.
- Tell me about yourself.
PS: “I’m a farmer, firefighter, trustee and secretary of the fire department. I’m also the town committee chairman and an alternate delegate to the state when we have meetings deciding how the democratic party wants to move forward. I was born in St. Johnsbury but I live in Sutton. I attended high school at Lyndon Institute and I attend LSC for business. I planned on getting a four year degree but decided to cut to two year degree and save money.”
- Why do you want to run for office?
PS: “I initially got into politics because of popular candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders bringing out younger people into politics. I may not agree fully with what Bernie says but I do agree we need major changes. We need a young person if we want young people to stay involved. In Vermont, every person running for governor right now says we need young people, but they’re all older. I’m going to college for $5,000 a year. The problem is by the time you are 18 in Vermont, you have seen everything the state has to offer. The important thing is that we get people to come back for college and that can be done in a variety of ways like helping people start a business or find a job. You don’t want to restrict things like EPA regulations. We were trying to build a firehouse and it took us three or four years to get through the paperwork all because we were waiting for one person to sign the papers.”
- What makes you different from your opponents?
PS: “I’m looking forward to my general election components. They are republicans. One of them is running for her third term and my other opponent has been in office for 12 years. He and I are similar because he’s moderate republican and I’m moderate democrat. I think it’s important that representatives represent the people that voted them, not the party. The majority of the people that vote for you will be democrats but not all of them. I’m an honest man, I do honest work, and I’m a farmer. I have experience to do the job. The one thing that makes me different is I think I’m a better public speaker. It’s nothing against them but they were elected because they were popular people in town and no one wanted that job at the time. The one thing they don’t do is stand up for what we need in the northeast. On the western half of the state, they have a lot more voting power. We need someone here who’s going to keep up with important things that need to be addressed. We have Act 46, which was a school bill. This bill was designed to bring school districts together. The problem was they put in spending limits and if they went over the limit, they had to pay twice as much in taxes which I find to be ridiculous. People don’t understand shutting down a school does not save us money. In my town, if we shut down schools there’s no reason for anyone to go there. There are no post office, there’s no economy. Both of my opponents voted for that bill and i think it has backfired on them because many people are upset about that bill.”
- How do you plan to raise money?
PS: “I don’t want to get money from the party. I have a few fundraising ideas. I want to hold a dinner in Sutton, Burke, and Lyndon. It would be an all you can eat buffet with $5 or $10 plate dinners. I would be serving my guests because I would get the opportunity to talk to them as I serve. I would also give a speech. This would be a way to get money and potentially raise the campaign.”
- What’s your platform?
PS: “My platform is kind of hard because it’s not catchy. It’s not like Donald Trump’s or Bernie Sander’s platforms. I want to bring home economics back into the high school. People don’t know how to do basic things because they don’t teach them in school anymore. Parents don’t have time because they are working. We have a system right now where parents used to teach their kids these basic things we should know, then parents got busy with work. Schools took over and they stopped teaching practical knowledge. I think we need to focus on creating green energy. I think if Vermont is able to say we create green energy, it will affect other states. I have a type of energy I want to use: anaerobic energy. You take things like sewage, compost, and food scraps. You put them in a giant tank that makes breaks down into three states of matter. if we want to evolve, we have to use it everywhere, In 2020, we’re going to have to compost our food.”
- Is it hard to run for public office as a student?
PS: “I don’t think its hard to run for political office as a student. I think it’s hard to be in public office as a student. If I win, I can’t go to school in the spring. I think as the campaign heats up, it will get harder to be a student and run for office.”
- Has being a student at Lyndon State helped you in any way?
PS: “Yes because I think being with being a business major, I’m constantly getting info about why economics works. I’m learning that there is no perfect system. I don’t think you can have a system that’s just free market or government control. There has to be a balance. Free market doesn’t support people like farmers. Producers don’t benefit from a free market. I think the one thing I have learned here that there is no perfect solution or pure solution.”
“If I win, I’ll be Vermont’s youngest state legislature and there’s a chance I could be the youngest one in the country.”