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January 03, 2012

Burlington Rep. Rachel Weston to Step Down

Rachel WestonState Rep. Rachel Weston (D-Burlington) is stepping down from her seat in the legislature to take a job overseas. Weston (pictured at right in a 2008 file photo) confirmed to Seven Days this afternoon she will resign her seat in the next week to take a job with the National Democratic Institute in Jordan. Weston says she'll be managing a women's political participation program.

Weston revealed few details of her impending departure, saying a press release would be issued on Wednesday.

"As you well know, Vermont has one of the highest percentage of women in political office," Weston said. "Having the opportunity to bring some of the lessons learned and democratic skill sets to that part of the world is going to be engaging work."

According to its website, National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created by Congress in 1983 to "support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government."

Weston was first elected to represent Burlington's Old North End in 2006. When she won the seat at age 25, the Massachusetts native was the youngest member of Vermont's House of Representatives. (Click here to read a 2008 Seven Days profile of Weston by former staff writer Mike Ives). Under legislative reapportionment (the once-a-decade redrawing of state House and Senate district lines), Weston faced the prospect of running against a fellow incumbent Democrat, state Rep. Jason Lorber, in 2012 for a newly created single-seat district.

File photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur

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