BENNINGTON Former Republican State Sen. Mark Shepard of Bennington has announced plans to launch a write-in campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives against Congressman Peter Welch. Welch, a Democrat, is running for reelection unopposed. It is very disheartening to see that there is no strong candidate on the ballet as an option to Rep. Welch, he said, thats why I am running as a write-in candidate. I know that this is not because Vermont lacks more qualified people for that job. Nearly every small business person has a better grasp of basic economic principles and how wrong it is to take what one person earns and give it to another, most especially when it goes to reward failure. That is the essence of the financial bailout and why even if Rep. Welch was the only name on the ballot, Vermonters should not bail him out with a vote on Nov. 4. Shepard grew up on his familys multigenerational farm, called Sheps Berry Patch, in Hartland, Vt. The family farm is where I learned to work and work hard. Its also where I learned to appreciate the traditions, values and the people who make the Vermont way of life what it is,he said. Shepard and his wife Rebecca are raising another generation of Vermonters, four boys, in Bennington where the write-in candidate runs a successful small business. In addition to his family and business duties, Shepard has served his community as a twice-elected state senator, where he has become a respected champion for good jobs, lower taxes, and limited government. Over the past 15 years or so, Vermonters have gotten higher taxes and a bigger more controlling government and the result has been a harder and harder life for working people, he said. Now our young people and middle class families are leaving in record numbers to escape our state. This is wrong, and this is what I want to change. Shepard was born in 1960 in Windsor. He graduated from Hartland Elementary School and Hartford High School, later earned the journeyman electrician's license, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering with honors at the University of Florida. He was a research specialist in semiconductor research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and went on to receive a Master of Engineering degree in electrical engineering/automation and robotics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I am hoping to help give Vermonters a way of expressing their dissatisfaction with Welch voting yes on the bailout, and likely only because he was essentially unopposed, Shepard said. In voting for Bush's $700 billion bailout, Peter took Vermonters for granted and if at all posible Vermonters should fire him. My website is still set from last run at www.shepardforcongress.org. So Vermonters can get a feel for who I am.