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Donald Trump Is Good For The Political Process, Vermont GOP Chairman Says

Donald Trump campaigning in August 2015.
Seth Wenig
Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after being summoned for jury duty in New York on Aug. 17. The chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, Dave Sunderland, says Trump's campaign to win the GOP presidential nomination has resulted in good discussion.

The head of the Vermont Republican Party says Donald Trump's campaign to win the GOP presidential nomination is, on balance, a good thing for the political process here in Vermont and across the county.

As Trump maintains a sizeable lead in most polls, some Republican state leaders have expressed concern about Trump's impact on the GOP presidential primary race. But this isn't the case in Vermont.

Dave Sunderland, the chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, says Trump has brought out some valuable new ideas. Sunderland says the result has been a good discussion among most of the other GOP presidential candidates.

"I think a diversity of ideas is always good for the process. I think voters having an option is good for the process,” Sunderland says. “I think voters hearing different angles and different visions about how to the solve the challenges that Americans face is good for the process." 

Trump has received strong criticism for statements that he's made about veterans who have been prisoners of war, this country's immigration policy and his negative description of a number of women. Sunderland says that Trump has sometimes gone too far with his comments.

"I think we could do without some of the theatrical elements. I think we could do fine without some of the vitriol that we've heard,” he says.

"I think a diversity of ideas is always good for the process ... I think we could do fine without some of the vitriol that we've heard." - Dave Sunderland, Vermont Republican Party chairman

The Republican candidates will hold a series of debates before the Iowa caucuses are held on February first and Sunderland thinks the political landscape for the GOP presidential candidates will change quite a bit over the next few months.

"I think as people learn more, as they hear more, as candidates have the opportunity to talk to them more about the issues that really matter to them, that the polls will look much different than they do right now,” Sunderland says.

Meanwhile, in other Republican presidential primary news, Sunderland says Kentucky senator Rand Paul will be coming to Vermont at the end of the month to help the state party raise money for the 2016 election.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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