Rey Garofano appointed by Gov. Scott to fill vacant Essex seat in the House

MONTPELIER — Golrang (Rey) Garofano, a Democrat, was appointed by Gov. Phil Scott today to fill the Chittenden-8-1 House District vacancy. Garofano replaces former Rep. Marybeth Redmond (D-Essex) who resigned last month.

“Rey is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of commitment to her community and state,” Scott stated in a release on Tuesday. “Her experience working on diversity, equity and inclusion issues will provide an important perspective in the House, as will her time with the Department for Children and Families (DCF). I’m confident she will hit the ground running.”

Garofano was nominated to represent Essex Town by fellow Democratic party members at a Dec. 16 meeting. She received 13 votes from Essex Democrats while Brian Shelden received nine. Both of their names were passed on to the governor, who conducted interviews and made the final decision. Scott kept with tradition, appointing a Democrat to fill the seat because Redmond was.

Rey Garofano being sworn in to Vermont House SeatAt the Dec. 16 meeting, Garofano told those gathered that her experience as a Vermont state employee, an immigrant and as a mother to a child of color give her a unique and needed perspective. She immigrated to the U.S. from Iran in the 1980s and moved to Essex in 2011.

“I’ve been a volunteer and an organizer in Essex for over a decade, working in various capacities to promote equity and inclusion in and around Essex,” she said. “… I know that many in our community struggle with access to affordable housing, high healthcare costs, and earning a living wage. I will work hard on behalf of Essex to address these challenges in Montpelier.”

Garofano has been a public servant at the State of Vermont for 16 years, serving in various leadership roles supporting Vermonters, including the most vulnerable. She currently serves as a child care quality program administrator at the DCF. Garofano is also on the board of Voices for Inclusion Essex and Westford and the Essex Westford School District Equity Policy advisory committee, which is tasked with implementing the board’s equity policy.

“I am truly honored to be appointed to represent Essex as a state representative,” she stated in the Tuesday release.

Garofano will serve in Montpelier until Jan. 4, 2023, when Redmond’s term would have expired. Should she wish to keep the position, she’ll need to run for election on Nov. 8, 2022.

Original article on The Essex Reporter can be found here: