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Small town revolt

A Vermont mayor's last day in office after being voted out for pledging to welcome refugees

A Vermont mayor’s last day in office after being voted out for pledging to welcome refugees

This segment originally aired March 14, 2017 on VICE News Tonight on HBO. 

The mayor of Rutland, Vermont’s worst case scenario has become a reality. Chris Louras, the outgoing mayor, pledged to open his small town to refugees from Syria when VICE News spoke to him last year. Now he’s packing up, voted out of office.

His stance on refugees was presented as both a moral imperative and a key step in revitalizing Rutland’s dwindling economy. With the assumption that his community was behind him, he campaigned with confidence that the support dwarfed the opposition which, he assumed, must just be a loud minority. He realized he miscalculated the situation when, as a five-time incumbent, he lost re-election with only 34% of the vote.

VICE News Tonight’s Josh Hersh reports from Rutland’s City Hall while Louras clears out his office, acknowledging the complexity of the issue and his incompetency to solve it. Regardless, he stands by his position and believes it was the right thing to do – even if it wasn’t the right thing to do for re-election

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