Richard Sears

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Richard Sears
Vermont Senate Bennington District
In office
1993 - present
Term ends
January 2, 2017
Years in position 22
Base salary$660.06/week
Per diem$107/day (non-commuter)
$61/day (commuter)
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 3, 1992
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Vermont
Date of birthApril 22, 1943
Place of birthFramingham, MA
ProfessionCo-Director, Youth Program
Office website
Richard W. Sears (b. April 22, 1943) is a Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate, representing the Bennington District. He was first elected to the chamber in 1992.


Sears earned his B.A. from the University of Vermont in 1969.

Sears was the Co-Director for 204-206 Depot Residential Programs for Troubled Youth.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Sears served on the following committees:

Vermont Committee Assignments, 2015
Judiciary, Chair
Judicial Rules
Legislative Council


In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Sears served on the following committees:


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Sears served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Sears served on these committees:


Charter schools

On February 8, 2013, Sears and fellow Senators Donald Collins, Richard McCormack, and David Zuckerman introduced a bill to impose more requirements on many independent schools. Under Senate Bill 91, any independent schools which receives public tuition funds for more than one third of its students would be required to hire only state-certified teachers, accept all publicly funded students who apply so long as space permits, provide free and reduced-price lunch to eligible students, and be approved to offer at least four categories of special education.[1] John McClaughry of the Ethan Allen Institute, a free-market think tank, criticized McCormack's bill as "clearly designed to put as many general purpose independent schools under the big fat thumb of the Education Agency in Montpelier." He accused McCormack of attempting to rush the bill through without input from the independent schools.[2] The Vermont Independent Schools Association also opposed the bill, saying, "State control of admissions and of hiring would strongly impair independent schools' ability to fulfill their unique missions."[3] McCormack and bill supporters argued that the independent schools were weakening public education by attracting students and state tuition dollars away from public schools without being required to meet state mandates, such as the requirement to offer expensive special education services. The Vermont National Education Association and the Vermont School Board Association endorsed SB 91. The bill was referred to the Education Committee, chaired by McCormack. Collins and Zuckerman are also members of the five-member committee.



See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Vermont State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on August 26, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was June 12, 2014. Bennington has two state senators. Incumbent Richard Sears and State Representative Brian Campion were unopposed in the Democratic primary, while Warren Roaf was unopposed in the Republican primary. Sears and Campion defeated Roaf in the general election.[4]

Vermont State Senate Bennington District, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDick Sears Incumbent 43% 7,905
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrian Campion 34.1% 6,273
     Republican Warren H. Roaf 22.9% 4,217
Total Votes 18,395


See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2012

Sears won re-election in the 2012 election for Vermont State Senate Bennington District. Sears was unopposed in the August 28 Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[5]


See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2010

Sears ran for re-election to the 3rd District Seat (Bennington District) in 2010. He ran against Robert Hartwell in the primary. In the general election he defeated Patricia Blair (R), Gerald Woodard (R), and Craig Hill (I) on November 2, 2010.[5]

Vermont State Senate, Bennington District, General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Dick Sears (D) 8,615
Green check mark transparent.png Bob Hartwell(D) 6,655
Gerald Woodard (R) 4,252
Patricia Blair (R) 4,001
Craig Hill (I) 866


On November 4, 2008, Sears won re-election by finishing first for the two-seat Bennington District of the Vermont State Senate, receiving 12,097 votes ahead of Democrat Robert Hartwell (8,975), Republicans Gerald Woodward (5,166) and Ruth Harvie (4,987), and write-ins (34).[5]

Sears raised $10,745 for his campaign, against $5,795 by Hartwell, $5,700 by Woodward, and $6,270 by Harvie.[6]

Vermont State Senate, Bennington District
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Richard Sears (D) 12,097
Green check mark transparent.png Robert Hartwell (D) 8,975
Gerald Woodward (R) 5,166
Ruth Harvie (R) 4,987
Write-ins 34

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Sears is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Sears raised a total of $34,312 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 19, 2013.[7]

Richard Sears's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Vermont State Senate, District Bennington Won $11,105
2010 Vermont State Senate, District Bennington Won $12,462
2008 Vermont State Senate, District Bennington Won $10,745
Grand Total Raised $34,312


Sears won re-election to the Vermont State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Sears raised a total of $11,105.


In 2010, Sears received $12,462 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[8]


Sears raised $10,745 for the 2008 election.

His major contributors are listed below.[9]

Donor Amount
Federal Express $500
Corrections Corporation of America $500
Vermont Association of Realtors $400
Vermont State Dental Society $250
Patrick Winburn $250
Vermont Retail Lumber Dealers Association $250
Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC $250


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Vermont

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Vermont scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the Vermont General Assembly was in session from January 9 to May 14. In 2014, the Vermont General Assembly was in session from January 7 to May 10.

  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on key small business issues.


In 2011, the Vermont General Assembly was in session from January 5 through mid May. In 2012, the Vermont General Assembly was in session from January 3 to May 5.

  • Legislators are scored based on whether or not their votes aligned with VBSR’s stance on each policy.
  • Legislators are scored based on their voting records on environmental issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on voting records on VPIRG-backed legislation to promote clean energy, reduce exposure to toxins, make health care more accessible and affordable and protect our democracy.

Voting record


The Ethan Allen Institute, a Vermont-based free-market public policy research and education organization, released its biennial publication, the Vermont Voters' Report Card, for the years 2011-2012. The report showed how Vermont legislators in the state House and state Senate voted on key issues important to the Institute.[10] Here's how Sears voted on the selected bills:

Vermont Voters Scorecard, 2011-2012
National Popular Vote Green Mountain Care Green Mountain Care Green Mountain Care Tax Bill Free Speech Health Exchange CVPS Rebate Cloud Computing


Sears has a wife, Beverly.

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