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Woodburn on trial: Answers before the election

EDITORIAL
September 23. 2018 10:05PM




Jeff Woodburn will have his day in court, a month after voters must decide whether to send him back to the state Senate.

Woodburn’s trial on nine domestic violence charges has been scheduled for Dec. 17. The Whitefield Democrat faces Republican David Starr on Nov. 6.

When Woodburn was arrested and charged with striking and biting a women described as his “intimate partner” and with kicking her door in, we opposed calls from Democrats and Republicans for his immediate resignation. Woodburn refused to step down, though Democrats did pick Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, to replace him as Senate Minority Leader.

Woodburn has consistently proclaimed his innocence, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. We believe the presumption of innocence still means something in this country.

But voters are not obligated to give politicians the benefit of the doubt. Woodburn would be wise to address the charges against him before Election Day.

If he did what he is accused of doing, he has no business serving in the state Senate. If he is innocent, a December trial might clear him in the eyes of the law, but possibly too late in the eyes of District 1 voters.

The charges against Woodburn are serious and disturbing. If he wants to earn the trust of voters, he should tell his side of the story before they go to the polls in November.


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