Vermont mayor who supported taking in Syrian, Iraqi refugees loses re-election bid

by WorldTribune Staff, March 8, 2017

The mayor who had advocated for resettling Iraqi and Syrian refugees into the small city of Rutland, Vermont has lost his bid for re-election.

Mayor Chris Louras had sought to resettle 100 Iraqi and Syrian refugees into Rutland.

Incumbent Mayor Chris Louras lost in the March 7 election to city alderman David Allaire by more than 700 votes, The Rutland Herald reported.

The candidates don’t run under party affiliations.

Louras had reached out to refugee resettlement officials in late 2015 to propose resettling 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the city of 16,500, all without consulting the Board of Aldermen.

“Rutland has been addressing our issues, and, having turned our community around, this is the next logical step — to embrace New Americans and enjoy the economic and cultural benefits that level of diversity will provide,” Louras told local publication Seven Days last June.

“There’s not a successful, vibrant and growing community in the country that hasn’t embraced New Americans.”

Allaire, who maintained he’s not anti-refugee, said that his main qualm with Louras’s proposal was that he went behind the back of the local government.

“It seems to be all cloak and dagger, behind the scenes,” the newly-elected mayor told Seven Days.

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