James Ehlers campaigns through every town in Vermont with the focus and dedication to serving community that he has cultivated over his 49 years. James’ life work is a devotion to action and problem-solving for everyday people. With a sense of urgency, James leads with listening. James is hearing that Vermonters from all walks of life want decisive action:
- Build a thriving, sustainable economy
- Tax reform and affordability for all
- A healthy environment
- Universal healthcare
- Equality and justice for all
- High-quality, equitable education from pre-K through free public colleges
- A Vermont that honors its traditions and natural resources
- Ethical and transparent government that practices what we preach: government that’s by, for, of the people!
Blue Collar Kid and U.S. Navy Veteran
Coming from a family of truckers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and bookkeepers, James was the first in his family to attend college. On a US Navy scholarship, James graduated from Villanova University. He spent the next four years in the Navy, commissioned as an officer – serving as a damage control officer on the USS Kidd, stationed in Panama. What once lead James to serve his country overseas, next lead him to settle in Vermont where he has continued serving his communities.
Logger, hunter, fisherman, award-winning guide
The list keeps going: middle school science teacher, writer and publisher of Vermont Outdoors magazine, line cook and ski coach. James has seen Vermont’s challenges and opportunities from many different perspectives.
… and yes, he even raced at Thunder Road for one season.
James Ehlers is not one to be summed-up easily. Yet, there’s a clear consistency throughout his adult life: service to community, everyday people, and our environment. James carries a deep respect, curiosity and affection for Vermont’s landscape – honoring the animals, plants, air, water and soil that make Vermont a unique natural wonder. From Lake Champlain to the Ferdinand Bog, from his weekly radio show “Our Nature” (WDEV) to the Vermont State House, James has introduced thousands of Vermonters to our time-honored traditions and the need to protect our natural resources.
Environmental and Public Health Advocate
As an advisor to US Senator Bernie Sanders on the environment and veterans issues, James Ehlers has been pushing state and national policy towards common-sense, people-first policies. Seeing that public policy, like water, connects us all, James has led the call to honor fellow US military veterans with the healthcare and benefits they rightly earned in serving the country. James has long been a champion for clean water, preaching that water is life and is fundamental for a thriving economy. As a member and chair of several economic development committees, James Ehlers has developed an inspiring focus on seeing our problems (e.g. polluted water) as an opportunity to develop our solutions (e.g. clean water is an economic driver). Since 1999, serving as Executive Director of Lake Champlain International (LCI), James Ehlers has brought together communities throughout Vermont, New York and Quebec to improve water quality, recreation, and advocate for effective policy.