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Rep. McNeil to run for state house

RUTLAND TOWN Republican State Rep. Jim McNeil of Rutland Town didnt plan on serving in the Vermont State Legislature. Between managing a business and family concerns, he had a lot on his plate. But when Gov. Jim Douglas tapped him to fill an unexpected vacancy in the state house last January, he felt duty bound to accept the call to serve. Now, having represented Rutland Town in Montpelier, he has announced his decision to seek election on his own. McNeil, age 50, was appointed by Douglas to fill the unexpired term of Rep. David Sunderland who resigned. McNeil was appointed to the agriculture committee where he became an ardent supporter of the buy local movement. McNeil operates McNeil and Reedy mens clothiers in Rutland; his family has owned the business for 52 years. As a local merchant, he said, I am a strong advocate for small business which is the backbone of Vermonts economy. At the same time, I support large businesses and appreciate the contribution they make (to our local economy). McNeil believes in traditional Vermont values. I think principles are more important than politics, he said. McNeil also said he wants to see more effort to develop so-called alternative energy sources that can also stimulate local economies. In business, he said, we cant sit around; we need to get to work as soon as possible.

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