By Stewart Ledbetter
July 13, 2018
The F-35 controversy is now a campaign issue in the race for governor.
Democrat James Ehlers said Friday if he’s elected this November, he’ll “absolutely, unequivocally” work to oppose the F-35 fighter jets from coming to the Vermont Air National Guard base in late 2019.
The candidate said residents living in the region most directly impacted by airport noise have voted to oppose the new jets, and Ehlers agrees they are a poor fit for the urban neighborhood.
A former Navy officer, Ehlers said he’s also concerned about the F-35’s nuclear-weapon capability, something he said Russia’s military would be well aware of.
“I don’t think it’s good for the people of Burlington, Winooski, Essex Junction, Colchester and South Burlington, and many of those people have gone on record in the form of a ballot,” Ehlers said. “As governor it’d be my responsibility to find the common ground. That is the way to support our men and women in uniform and advocate for an alternative mission.”
Ehlers said he’s spoken with a number of Vermont Guard members and is convinced the Air Force’s plan to send 18 F-35 fighters to South Burlington next year is “far from a done deal.”[FULL ARTICLE]