Vermont Conversation: Vermont's anti-Republican Republican congressional candidate Liam Madden

Liam Madden speaks during VTDigger’s debate between U.S. House Republican primary candidates at the Double E Performance Center in Essex in June. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman is a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference. Listen below, and subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify to hear more.

Liam Madden handily won the Republican primary for Vermont’s lone U.S. House seat, defeating his two opponents by 8 points and 13 points respectively. He now faces Democrat Becca Balint in the November election.

There’s just one problem: Madden has renounced the Republican party. The Vermont Republican Party has returned the favor and renounced Madden as its candidate

“The state party would not commit any resources toward (Madden’s) campaign due to his unwillingness to commit to caucusing with Republicans in Congress,” Vermont GOP Chair Paul Dame said.

“I've been very upfront the entire election every single chance I get to speak to the public to say I'm an independent running in the Republican primary,” Madden told The Vermont Conversation. “The entire theme of my candidacy is to structurally, culturally and technologically create an alternative to the two party dominance of our political system, which I think is deeply dysfunctional. It's going to take a departure from this divisive, corrupt, oligarch-controlled and ultimately nonrepresentative and nonfunctional system.”

Madden is a Marine Corps veteran who was a leader in Iraq Veterans Against the War. Since graduating from Northeastern University he has worked in the renewable energy field.

Madden said that if elected, he will not caucus with either party. Asked how he would be effective in Congress, he said, “I would be courted quite strongly, I imagine, from both sides and I will give Vermonters an incredible amount of leverage.”

Madden opposes many of the public health measures used to control the spread of covid, including mask mandates, vaccine requirements and lockdowns. 

“I would also question that these methods of protection that you claim are the gold standard are really as effective as this claim,” he said.

Vermont currently does not limit abortion access. Madden said he is in favor of abortion rights but believes “it's reasonable to have the states make the decisions about what happens after 24 weeks.”

Madden described his opponent, Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, as “an incredibly intelligent and thoughtful, big hearted person. But she is also putting a kind face on a really broken system.”

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David Goodman

About David

David Goodman is an award-winning journalist and the author of a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers that he co-authored with his sister, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. His work has appeared in Mother Jones, New York Times, Outside, Boston Globe and other publications. He is the host of The Vermont Conversation, a VTDigger podcast featuring in-depth interviews about local and national topics. The Vermont Conversation is also an hour-long weekly radio program that can be heard on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on WDEV/Radio Vermont.

Email: [email protected]

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