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GOP elects woman to head Vt. party

MONTPELIER-Vermont Republicans have a new leader in Montpelier. He's former State Rep. Patricia McDonald (R-Washington 3-3). McDonald was elected chairwoman of the Vermont GOP at the Republican State Committee meeting held last week.

McDonald's nomination was spearheaded by Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and seconded by Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon.

McDonald spoke with Republicans including a delegation of GOP members from Addison County.

"As Chair, I am committed to utilizing my experience to begin charting a path of sustainable victories, an initiative which needs to be built on fostering confidence in people and encouraging their involvement and empowerment," she said. "I truly believe that if we make the connection with people through our message and outreach efforts, they in turn will make the connection with us."

McDonald said she will focus on long-term campaign strategies that will build the GOP into the powerhouse it was in the 1950s. She cited growing complaints from voters of high taxes and an unfriendly business climate as the underpinings of a GOP revival in the state.

McDonald said that her years of service in both the public and private sectors, coupled with decision-making and leadership styles will be instrumental in creating a new level of enthusiasm and commitment to GOP ideals.

McDonald's career includes public service to the Snelling, Dean and Douglas adminsitrations as well as her tenure in four state agencies. She served two terms in the state legislature and a term as House minority leader.

Most recently, McDonald served as Lt. Gov. Scott's campaign manager.

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