Virginia Lyons

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Virginia Lyons
Vermont Senate Chittenden District
In office
2001 - present
Term ends
January 2, 2017
Years in position 14
Base salary$660.06/week
Per diem$107/day (non-commuter)
$61/day (commuter)
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected2000
Term limitsN/A
Associate'sDrew University
Master'sRutgers University
Ph.D.University of Vermont
Date of birthSeptember 24, 1944
Place of birthAuburn, NY
Office website
Campaign website
Virginia "Ginny" Lyons (b. September 24, 1944) is a Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate, representing the Chittenden District. She was first elected to the chamber in 2000.


Lyons earned her AB from Drew University in 1966. She went on to receive her M.S. from Rutgers University in 1968. She then earned her EdD from the University of Vermont in 1988.

Lyons worked as an Instructor for Middlesex County College from 1968 to 1971. She then worked as a professor for Trinity College from 1973 to 2000. From 1978 to 2000 she was also the Coordinator/Director of Allied Health for Trinity College. She became a professor for Vermont State College in 2000 and has worked there since.

Lyons was on the Williston Select Board from 1990 to 2000. She was the Chair/Vice-Chair of that board from 1997 to 2001.

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

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

Vermont Committee Assignments, 2015
Health and Welfare, Vice-Chair
Joint Energy
Administrative Rules


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


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


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


Climate change

In a press conference with business leaders and other state legislators, Lyons advocated for new, expanded policies in Vermont that would be vital to preserving the state's character and nature. Lyons called climate change Vermont's chief economic peril, and cited both short-term, erratic weather patterns and long-term trends that may harm the maple, agriculture, and skiing industries and cause more flooding in the state.[1]

Campaign themes


Lyons's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[2]

  • Vermont’s Energy Future
Excerpt: "In 2006 Ginny passed goals helping move Vermont away from costly fossil fuels and preserve environmental integrity. In 2007 she organized three weeks of education for the legislature on challenges to and economic opportunities in response to climate change. Energy efficiency, clean energy projects, and opportunities for municipal, residential, business, and farms continue to develop."
  • Healthcare for All
Excerpt: "In 2002 Ginny championed a comprehensive law that promotes prevention in our school, community, workplace, and health care settings. Vermont’s safety net programs for mentally ill, disabled, underinsured, and senior citizens are important components of a strong health care system. Ginny helped develop laws that help people with chronic care needs."
  • Economic Opportunity
Excerpt: "Ginny believes that investing in Vermont’s renewable energy, creative economic opportunities, working landscape and emerging technologies will help build Vermont’s strong sustainable economic future. She worked to provide low interest loans and grants funding for small businesses."
  • Sustainable Development
Excerpt: "Ginny fostered and passed the Growth Center law. That law can help municipalities plan to provide thriving downtowns and productive working landscapes. New reforms are needed to insure that sprawl so common to other states does not consume Vermont. At the same time it is important that planned economic development can occur with appropriate environmental regulation."
  • Environmental Health
Excerpt: "As a result of laws passed by Senator Lyons you will be able to recycle your old computer products free of charge. You will also find phosphorus free dishwasher detergent, BPA free water bottles, baby food and reusable food containers in your local stores."



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. Chittenden has six state senators. Incumbents Philip Baruth, Virginia Lyons, Michael Sirotkin, David Zuckerman, Timothy Ashe and Dawn Ellis were unopposed in the Democratic primary, while incumbent Diane Snelling and Joy Limoge were unopposed in the Republican primary. John Cisar, Glyn Wilkinson, Ben Mayer, Paul Washburn, Christopher Coolidge and Travis Spencer are running as Libertarian candidates.[3][4][5][6] Baruth, Lyons, Snelling, Ashe, Sirotkin and Zuckerman defeated Ellis, Limoge, Wilkinson, Cisar, Mayar, Coolidge, Spencer, and Washburn.[7]

Vermont State Senate Chittenden District, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngVirginia "Ginny" Lyons Incumbent 12.6% 23,488
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTimothy Ashe* Incumbent 12.2% 22,790
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPhilip Baruth Incumbent 11.9% 22,217
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDiane B. Snelling Incumbent 11.7% 21,855
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Zuckerman** Incumbent 11.4% 21,333
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMichael Sirotkin Incumbent 10.6% 19,738
     Democratic Dawn Ellis 9.9% 18,432
     Republican Joy Limoge 8.5% 15,853
     Libertarian Paul Washburn 2.2% 4,113
     Libertarian John Cisar 2.1% 3,896
     Libertarian Christopher Coolidge 2% 3,694
     Libertarian Travis Spencer 1.8% 3,405
     Libertarian Ben Mayer 1.8% 3,310
     Libertarian Glyn Wilkinson 1.4% 2,706
Total Votes 186,830

*Ashe appeared on the ballot as both a Democratic and Progressive nominee.
**Zuckerman appeared on the ballot as both a Progressive and Democratic nominee.


See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2012

Lyons won re-election in the 2012 election for Vermont State Senate Chittenden District. Lyons advanced past the August 28 Democratic primary and won re-election in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[8]

Vermont State Senate, Chittenden District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTimothy Ashe Incumbent 16.3% 9,150
Green check mark transparent.pngVirginia Lyons Incumbent 15.8% 8,873
Green check mark transparent.pngSally Fox Incumbent 15.2% 8,558
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Zuckerman 13.9% 7,838
Green check mark transparent.pngPhilip Baruth Incumbent 12.2% 6,859
Green check mark transparent.pngDebbie Ingram 9% 5,068
Peter Hunt 8.2% 4,595
Ed Adrian 6.4% 3,629
Loyal Ploof 3% 1,696
Total Votes 56,266


See also: Vermont State Senate elections, 2010

Lyons ran for re-election to the 9th District Seat (Chittenden District) in 2010. She ran against Timothy Ashe (D), Hinda Miller (D), Philip Baruth (D), Sally Fox (D), Frank Geier (D), and Andy Montroll (D) in the primary. She defeated Annette Roque Renaud (R), Dennis Bedard (R), Shelley Palmer (R), Mike Branon (R), Diane Snelling (R), Richard Jeroloman (I), Steve Laible (I), Mikey Van Gulden(I), and Andy Montroll (D) in the general election on November 2, 2010.[8]

Vermont State Senate, Chittenden District, General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Virginia Lyons (D) 28,605
Green check mark transparent.png Sally Fox (D) 27,448
Green check mark transparent.png Diane Snelling (R) 26,358
Green check mark transparent.png Tim Ashe (D) 25,656
Green check mark transparent.png Hinda Miller (D) 25,391
Green check mark transparent.png Philip Baruth (D) 25,179
Andy Montroll (D) 23,464
Charlie Smith (R) 19,498
Mike Brannon (R) 17,532
Dennis Bedard (R) 16,266
Shelley Palmer (R) 14,369
Mikey Van Gulden (I) 3,569
Steve Laible (I) 2,551
Richard "Terry" Jeroloman (I) 1,934
Larkin Forney (Justice for Vermonters) 1,685


On November 4, 2008, Lyons won re-election by finishing third for the six-seat Chittenden District of the Vermont State Senate, receiving 35,869 votes behind Democrats Douglas Racine (44,856) and Edward Flanagan (38,998) and ahead of Republican Diane Snelling (32,394), Democrat Hinda Miller (31,457), Democrat/Progressive Timothy Ashe (28,103), Democrat Denise Barnard (27,687), Republicans Dennis Bedard (16,760), Darren Adams (15,894), Paula Spadaccini (15,110), Robyn Myers-Moore (15,029), and Agnes Clift (14,192), independent Tom Licata (11,411), Justice for Vermonters candidate Larkin Forney (3,141), and write-ins (524).[8]

Lyons raised $7,918 for her campaign, against $13,630 by Snelling, $2,300 by Miller, $17,119 by Ashe, $16,940 by Barnard, and $11,208 by Licata.[9]

Vermont State Senate, Chittenden District
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Douglas Racine (D) 44,856
Green check mark transparent.png Edward Flanagan (D) 38,998
Green check mark transparent.png Virginia Lyons (D) 35,869
Green check mark transparent.png Diane Snelling (R) 32,394
Green check mark transparent.png Hinda Miller (D) 31,457
Green check mark transparent.png Timothy Ashe (D/P) 28,103
Denise Barnard (D) 27,687
Dennis Bedard (R) 16,760
Darren Adams (R) 15,894
Paula Spadaccini (R) 15,110
Robyn Myers-Moore (R) 15,029
Agnes Clift (R) 14,192
Tom Licata (I) 11,411
Larkin Forney (Justice for Vermonters) 3,141
Write-ins 524

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Lyons is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Lyons raised a total of $24,848 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 20, 2013.[10]

Virginia's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Vermont State Senate, District Chittenden Won $9,525
2010 Vermont State Senate, District Chittenden Won $7,405
2008 Vermont State Senate, District Chittenden Won $7,918
Grand Total Raised $24,848


Lyons won re-election to the Vermont State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Lyons raised a total of $9,525.


In 2010, Lyons received $7,405 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[11]


Lyons raised $7,918 for the 2008 election.

Her major contributors are listed below.[12]

Donor Amount
Teri Gerbode $1,000
Vermont Association of Realtors $400
Federal Express $300
Vermont State Dental Society $300
National Association of Social Workers, Vermont Chapter $250
Triple Loop Costume Shop $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.[13] Here's how Lyons 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


Lyons and her husband, Richard, have two children.

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