Kari Dolan, D-Waitsfield, will challenge Ed Read, I-Fayston, for state representative for the Washington-7 District, which includes the towns of Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren. Dolan will announce her campaign at a kickoff event on Thursday, May 17, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at the Mad River Taste Place in Waitsfield.

“The Taste Place event on May 17 is the beginning of the beginning of my campaign,” said Dolan. “After breaking bread with community members (garnished with Vermont cheeses, of course), I plan on getting out there to introduce myself to as many voters as possible, listen and learn about what residents are thinking about.”

Dolan, who serves on the Waitsfield Select Board, has been active in civic boards and organizations for many years. She has been on the select board since 2015. Prior to joining the select board, Dolan was on the Waitsfield Planning Commission and was a board member with the Mad River Valley Planning District as well as Friends of the Mad River. Dolan also coached kids’ soccer and lacrosse for many years.

“I am running because as a select board member, I have learned firsthand how difficult it is for small towns to achieve and sustain economic vitality. I want to identify and promote strategies that support our farm and forest rural economy, enhance recreation and tourism, and invite innovators and entrepreneurs to our region,” she said.

“We also need to focus on affordability and livability, so that people can afford to live and work here, and we get the kind of growth that complements our historic villages and enhances our pedestrian- and bike-friendly region,” she added.

Dolan currently oversees the state’s clean water funding and tracking program known as the Vermont Clean Water Initiative.

“Our economy is linked to the environment, and our future depends on a clean and healthy environment. I have dedicated my professional career to the sound management of our waters. I will continue to support good stewardship, so that future generations will be able to enjoy hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, swimming, or just hanging out and playing by the river.”

Dolan is one of the 13 people who threw their hats into the ring, seeking appointment to the seat that Ed Read now holds. Read was appointed by Governor Phil Scott to serve out the balance of former state Representative Adam Greshin’s term. Greshin, I-Warren, was named by Scott to serve as commissioner of finance and management last summer.

Dolan has worked in Vermont for the past 26 years in the fields of water resources management and energy. Prior to her current job, she served as the state of Vermont’s National Flood Insurance Program manager, water manager with the Vermont office of the National Wildlife Federation, and utilities analyst at the Vermont Public Utilities Commission.

She holds two master’s degrees in public policy and science from the University of California at Berkeley and an undergraduate biology degree from Princeton. She and her husband, Chach Curtis, have two daughters, ages 23 and 19. They have one large, rambunctious dog.