Justin Gamache, of Readsboro, wants your vote. Gamache is a 25-year-old Independent write-in candidate for governor who seeks to represent Vermonters in the State House. Gamache is young; he’s energetic; and he says he has what it takes to to lead Vermont into the next decade. All he needs to do is get the word out.
Gamache was born in Halifax, the youngest of four siblings. Growing up, Gamache attended Halifax Elementary and Twin Valley Middle schools. In 1998, Gamache’s family moved to Deland, FL but moved back to Vermont in 2002. Gamache graduated from Whitingham High School in 2003 and is now studying music at Greenfield Community College. He also works full time as a chair lift operator at Mount Snow ski resort during the summer and winter months.
Gamache didn’t hesitate about running. He just did it. “I was mowing a (neighbor’s) lawn one day and I was thinking about what I could do to help Vermont,” said Gamache. “I thought the governorship is the best way to make change.” As an independent, Gamache does not favor one political party over the other and Gamache believes that will work to his advantage. “I chose to be an independent because I can go either way, reach across the aisle, and gain support,” said Gamache.
Gamache is campaigning on universal health care, lower taxes, lower prices (such as oil and gas), and renewable energy. Universal health care is an important issue to Gamache. When the family lived in Florida, his father, Gary Gamache, 59, underwent triple bypass open heart surgery. The elder Gamache is still having problems. He recently received a pacemaker and defibrillator and health care bills have been difficult to manage. “I know a lot of people who can’t afford health care. My father is one (of them),” said Gamache. Gamache’s parents said they are supportive of Justin’s candidacy. They said he should “go for it” and see what happens. “He’s got a lot of good ideas,” said his mother, Darlene Gamache. Gary Gamache said he is fine with it as well. “It’s cool. Just don’t get me involved,” he laughed.
If elected, his first goal is to reduce regular gas prices to $2 a gallon. Gamache said he hopes to accomplish that within a year but he did not provide specifics. “It’s still in development,” said Gamache.
Gamache is also a proponent of alternative energy. He does not support nuclear power and believes the state of Vermont should switch to wind and solar. He supports the Deerfield Wind Project and would like to see similar projects introduced throughout the state. “You don’t need nuclear. It’s quite dangerous,” said Gamache. “Wind and solar don’t pollute and you can run a bunch of houses off them.”
Because of his busy schedule, Gamache has been campaigning exclusively on the Internet. He has posted several videos on the popular Web site YouTube, where users can upload, view, and share video clips with other people. Gamache already uses YouTube to post music lessons online. Now he is using it to spread his message to all Vermonters. “It’s working pretty well. I got my ideas out there, and people are responding,” said Gamache. One of them is Dwight Schmuck, a local candidate for U.S. president. Schmuck saw Gamache’s YouTube videos and told Gamache he will support him. “I like Justin because he is a dreamer. Which is very different from having a ‘vision.’ After all, ‘vision’ is synonymous with ‘hallucination,’” said Schmuck. “Give me the dreamer over the man with a vision every time.”
Gamache did not collect 500 signatures to appear on the November ballot, so he is urging voters to write in his name. Gamache said he also plans to travel the state, visit county fairs, and get the word out on his candidacy. If he is unsuccessful, Gamache said he plans to run again in 2010. “There’s another election in 2010 and (this run) will give me more experience. I’ll seek office again at state level,” said Gamache.
In the meantime, Gamache believes he has what it takes to become Vermont’s governor.
“If (Vermonters) want progress, then vote for me,” said Gamache.
To learn more about Justin Gamache’s candidacy visit www.youtube.com/user/jazztrio2008.