Vermont Governor

Democrat Sue Minter (left) and Republican Phil Scott
Candidates' Facebook pages

Could a former major league pitcher and third-party candidate for Vermont governor force the Legislature to choose the state’s next governor?  Today’s race between the Republican and Democrat is so close that some wonder if either can obtain the required 50 percent for a clear win.

Democrat Sue Minter (left) and Republican Phil Scott
Candidates' Facebook pages

Vermont's two top gubernatorial candidates were crisscrossing the state on the final day of the campaign and they have different messages about the economy.

Phil Scott
Candidate's Facebook page

Phil Scott served five terms in the Vermont Senate before being elected Lieutenant Governor in 2010.  The Republican is now seeking the state’s top office. The businessman and race car driver has been campaigning for a year. When his campaign began, some thought his popularity combined with the state’s tradition of flipping parties when an incumbent governor leaves office provided Scott with the overwhelming advantage.  Instead, he faced a primary and a strong challenge from Democrats.  Now, as Election Day looms, Scott says the goal of his campaign is making Vermont more affordable.

Sue Minter
Sue Minter for Governor/Facebook

Democrat Sue Minter beat four challengers in the August primary and now faces Republican Phil Scott and Liberty Union candidate Bill “Spaceman” Lee in her quest for Vermont Governor. With just over a month remaining in the race, she says she wants to focus on making Vermont more affordable.

Bill Lee in Nashua, New Hampshire
Craig Michaud at en.wikipedia

Former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee is expanding on his storied baseball legacy by throwing a curveball into Vermont politics.  He is the Vermont Liberty Union Party’s candidate for governor.  Lee tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that he is seeking the state’s top office because one of the founders of the party asked him to run.

Phil Scott
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Scott released his health care plan on Wednesday.  It’s an approach that fits his affordability policy strategy.

Election 2016 graphic
DonkeyHotey/Flickr

The Republican and Democrat running for Vermont Governor participated in their first broadcast debate Monday night.  While generally polite, the two candidates offered clear differences in their philosophy regarding several issues.

On Tuesday, Vermont will hold its earliest ever state primary.  It’s an unusual year in that all seats in the House and Senate are up for election, although not all face primaries.  The top five elected offices in the state will also be chosen in the general election in November. In the race to replace retiring Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin, five candidates have lined up in the Democratic primary. 

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin in South Burlington July 19, 2016
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Tuesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed an executive order to give preference in awarding state contracts to businesses in the state that adopt climate friendly business practices. Following the formal signing of the document in South Burlington, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley discussed several issues with the governor — including his concerns over the passage of legislation by Congress last week and expectations that President Obama will sign a bill that will override Vermont’s first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law.

Governor Peter Shumlin discusses executive order
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed an executive order today that will give preference when awarding state contracts to businesses working to fight climate change.

Vermont Statehouse
Photo by Pat Bradley

The five major party candidates for Vermont governor will be discussing Vermont's economic future in the time of climate change during a forum Tuesday evening.

Peter Galbraith
Peter Galbraith for Vermont Governor/Facebook

The Democratic field seeking to replace outgoing Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin got a bit more crowded this week when two-term former state Senator Peter Galbraith announced his entry into the race.  The Townsend resident and former Ambassador to Croatia during the Clinton administration says Vermont cannot continue to do business the way it does.

Former Vermont Governors Howard Dean and Jim Douglas traded some good-natured ribbing as they debated doubling the term for governor from two years to four.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The middle of 2015 shook up Vermont’s political field.  At the beginning of June incumbent Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin made the announcement not to seek re-election. That resulted in a stream of candidates stepping forward to seek not only Vermont’s highest office, but the state’s second seat.

Photo of Phil Scott announcing gubernatorial campaign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott officially kicked off his campaign for governor Tuesday night, saying Vermont’s economic foundation must be stabilized.

Photo of Shap Smith at August gubernatorial campaign announcement
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Speaker of the Vermont House Shap Smith announced in August that he would run for governor.  Three months later, the seven-term state representative stood on the steps of the Statehouse yesterday to tell Vermonters he was withdrawing from the race. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the high-profile Democrat’s exit has shaken up the race for the open seat.

Photo of Shap Smith at August gubernatorial campaign announcement
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith, who announced he would run for Governor in August,  announced Tuesday he is dropping out of the race.

Campaign for Vermont

Retired Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman on Monday formally began his campaign for the Republican nomination for Vermont governor in next year's election.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

With Vermont’s campaign season getting an unusually early start, the Castleton Polling Institute issued a new poll this week assessing the name recognition and favorability rating of people who have declared their candidacy or are considering running for governor. 

Middlebury College

This was one of the busiest weeks in Vermont politics since election day, all dating back to Vermont Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin’s June announcement that he would not run for re-election.  That has resulted in a number of candidates announcing their candidacy for 2016.  Vermont Republicans are hopeful that they have a solid chance to take back the top seat. Retired Wall Street businessman Bruce Lisman and Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott have already entered the GOP field, and several others are considering running.  Phil Scott has already picked up a key supporter – former Governor Jim Douglas, who served from 2003 through 2011.  Douglas explains to WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley why he is already supporting Scott.

Vermont Agency of Transportation

Today is the last day of work for Vermont Agency of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter, who announced her resignation on Thursday. That’s because Minter is the latest to join the growing field of gubernatorial hopefuls. A member of the administration since 2011, Minter is looking to succeed fellow Democrat Peter Shumlin, who is not seeking a fourth term. Minter joins House Speaker Shap Smith and former state legislator Matthew Dunne in the Democratic field. Minter tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley she’s ready for higher office.

Phil Scott
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is the highest ranking elected Republican in the state. In an email blast Tuesday he officially announced he is running for governor in 2016. The seat is open because incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin isn’t seeking another term. Scott said he decided to run in order to restore fiscal responsibility and revitalize the fundamentals of the state’s economy.  Scott explains to WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley how he plans to accomplish that.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

The field of candidates seeking to become Vermont's next governor is growing. Current Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott used social media today to announce his plans to join the Republican race for the state’s top seat.

Matt Dunne for Vermont/Facebook

In June, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced he would not run for reelection in 2016, providing a rare opening for the state’s top seat.   A number of people are considering running for the position and several have announced their campaigns.  In August, Democratic House Speaker Shap Smith made his formal announcement.  This week, a Democratic primary shaped up as former state senator Matt Dunne emailed supporters that he too was running.  Dunne, a Google executive, has unsuccessfully run for statewide office twice before, including the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary.  He explains to WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley why he’s running again.

Fourteen months before the election, candidates have begun to announce their plans to run for Vermont governor.  This week two candidates have thrown their hats into the ring.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

What will be a long and unusual campaign for governor of Vermont officially got under way today. Putting to rest weeks of rumors, state House Speaker Shap Smith announced this morning that he is a candidate for the state’s open governor’s seat in 2016.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith is expected to announce next week that he's a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Matt Dunne for Vermont/Facebook

Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday at Vermont’s Secretary of State’s office show two candidates aggressively fundraising in advance of the 2016 statewide elections — a campaign cycle that has started early with Governor Peter Shumlin declining to seek a fourth term.  One is Democrat Matt Dunne.  A former member of the Vermont House and Senate and a 2010 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, he has raised more than $100,000.  While Dunne has yet to formally announce,  he tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that he is gauging public support for a gubernatorial campaign.

Vermont Congressman Peter Welch announced Friday that he will run for re-election, rather than seek the state’s open governor’s seat in 2016.

Picture of Governor Peter Shumlin
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who narrowly survived his reelection bid last November, announced Monday at the Statehouse that he will  not seek re-election to a fourth two-year-term. As WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the state’s political class is now feverishly looking ahead to an open race in 2016.

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