Douglas picks Shaw to fill Pittsford/Sudbury House
PITTSFORD — Pittsford Assistant Fire Chief and local business owner Charles “Butch” Shaw has been appointed to the state House of Representatives by Gov. Jim Douglas. Shaw fills the seat vacated by longtime Rep. Peg Flory, a Republican who represented Pittsford/Sudbury.
“I look forward to working with Butch as we address difficult fiscal challenges and work to strengthen our economy,” Douglas said. “I am confident that he will represent the people of Pittsford and Sudbury thoughtfully and with dedication.”
Flory vacated her House seat last month after Douglas appointed her to take the seat of Sen. Hull Maynard, R-Rutland County, who retired in November. Flory had been contemplating a Senate run and was appointed to Maynard’s seat.
Flory approached Shaw about taking over her House seat three years ago, but Shaw told her at that time that he wasn’t ready to take on the position permanently. Now, he said, he is.
“I’m really, really looking forward to it,” he said in a phone interview last week. “I wouldn’t have sought the position if I didn’t think I could do it. You have to have enthusiasm for it and I do.”
Shaw, who turned 62 this weekend, said Flory approached him again last summer as she had decided to run for the Senate. Shaw owns CDP Electric Inc., a small electrical contracting business in Florence that specializes in airport runway lighting and traffic lighting. He and his wife Mary run the business, and being in Montpelier for the session would put more of the onus on Mary to keep things going at the shop.
“I had a long talk with my wife, and we thought we could do it,” Shaw said. “Peg carries my views very well and I think I can carry my views and the views of the voters in Pittsford and Sudbury well, too.”
Flory said the timing of it all just fell into place.
“Three years ago, Butch said he’d rather I give him another three years or so,” she said. “This year, I said, ‘Your three years are up.’ Then, he had just said yes when Hull announced his retirement.”
Flory said she obviously has no qualms about Shaw’s ability to do the job.
“He’s a good guy, he’s got a good head on his shoulders,” she said. “He’s certainly been involved with the community in Pittsford and I think he will do a fine job.”
Flory nominated Shaw, chairman of the Pittsford Republican Committee, to succeed her and the committee voted on Dec. 21 to send his name to Douglas. Two other candidates— Charles McCuin and Peter Becker — also came forward on Dec.21 at the committee’s meeting. Voting was conducted by secret ballot with Shaw taking the majority and McCuin and Becker tying for second place.
Shaw said Douglas called him personally on New Year’s Eve to deliver the news.
“He said, ‘You’ve got a new job,’” Shaw recalled. “It was pretty exciting.”
Shaw said some of the issues on his platform include the struggling state economy and the budget, the re-licensing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, education funding, land use permitting, and the exodus of young people leaving the state to find work.
“I’ve been a firefighter for 41 years,” he said. “We run into burning buildings when most people are running out. I see a problem and I try to help fix it.”
The Shaws have one son, Dana, who is grown and lives in Utah. They have been married for 30 years.
“If nothing else, I’m consistent,” Shaw joked, then added with all seriousness, “I could not do this without Mary’s support.”