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Vermont House race gains national attention after candidates end debate with duet

JEFFERSONVILLE, Vt. - Taking a quick trip through Lamoille County you’ll see a lot of campaign signs showing support for Lucy Rogers and Zac Mayo, who facing off for a Vermont House seat representing Cambridge and Waterville.

Rogers, a Democrat, says she's focused on healthcare, "small schools and small businesses."

Mayo, a Republican, is concerned with the high cost of living in the state. "I mean you name it, in Vermont, it's expensive,” he said.

But, in other ways, the small-town race has been all but typical.

The political rivals caught the nation’s attention earlier this month when they performed a rendition of Eddie Vedder’s ‘Society' together.

"We found out that we were both musicians -- he plays guitar, I play cello and we both sing a little bit,” said Rogers. “I guess it was just kicking around in the back of my mind.”

The duet came after a candidate forum at their local library.

"We each kind of had a list,” said Mayo. “In the moment it was more about you know what we could play in short notice.”

It was an unusual moment in politics but Rogers and Mayo say there was initially no hidden agenda.

"It wasn't so much originally trying to send a message to the world as it was just thinking that this was a natural thing to do in a community where a lot of the people know both of our families,” said Rogers.

The performance has been viewed by thousands on social media and broadcast by multiple news agencies across the country, spreading a message of civility in politics.

"We have to figure out a deeper meaning and stop defining ourselves just as Democrats or Republicans and fighting over that,” said Mayo. “There is a deeper meaning that we have to have as what it means to be an American.”

The race marks the first campaign for Rogers and Mayo.


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