(Host) The Governor’s race has already heated up despite the start of the statewide recount today. Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie spent the last 26 hours visiting 10 counties in the state. Meanwhile the democrats are continuing their five candidate unity tour.
VPR’s Nina Keck caught up with the gubernatorial candidates from both parties as they campaigned their way through Rutland.
(Merry go round)
(Keck) Peter Shumlim, the apparent democratic nominee, was definitely shaking the most hands as he worked the crowds at the Vermont State Fair.
(Crowd with Shumlin) "Hi Mr. Shumlin – hi how are you? Good to see ya! Oh your’e just warming up – it’s a pleasure to meet you – good luck. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. "
(Keck) Just a few feet away, however, fellow democrat Doug Racine was greeting some of his supporters.
(Crowd with Racine) "Thanks – it was a good race and now we’ll see what happens – but we’re all together here – we’re all campaigning together here today."
(Keck) Racine and Shumlin are dancing a delicate kind of political waltz this week as the primary election results are recounted. Not wanting to lose valuable campaign time – yet not really knowing who’s going to be the democratic candidate – they’ve decided to campaign together – along with fellow democrats Deb Markowitz, Susan Bartlett and Matt Dunne. Shumlin says as candidates they share a similar vision so working together makes sense.
(Shumlin) "I think that a collective campaign is much more powerful than a single campaign at this point. We really do have five extraordinary candidates, we’re great friends and five is better than one right now."
(Keck) Deb Markowitz says if they want to defeat Republican Brian Dubie in November, democrats have to come together and this unity tour, she says, is a way to help do that.
(Markowitz) "We’ve got to move Vermont forward, grow jobs again in the state and make sure we’re keeping Vermont the best place to live, work and raise a family. So I’m here to support Peter Shumlin and if by chance the world turns upside down and someone else, I’ll support them too, but we’ve got to start acting now to make sure that we can win in November."
(Keck) Markowitz smiles and says a lot of people have joked that they’re all sitting around on the campaign bus singing kumbaya – so she actually brought up the idea.
(Markowitz) "I tried to get them to sing kumbaya and they wouldn’t actually. I was joking at the time. But I’m known because I sing the Vermont state song and I come from a singing family. So I did this. I did this morning tease everybody and said now, time for kumbaya and they all took two steps away from me."
(Keck) At a busy intersection just across the street from the fairgrounds, Republican Brian Dubie stood with many Rutland area supporters waving to passing motorists.
(Dubie) "Hey, how are you doing? How are you doing? How you doing, sir?"
(Keck) Dubie says that while the Democrats may say they’re unified, he’s not worried.
(Dubie) "They’re united in one thing – I’ve read the other teams plans – they’re all about more programs which means more spending which means higher taxes – so they certainly are united in that regard. They’re plans are different than mine. My plan says if we cap the growth of government for 2013, 2014, 2015, we can generate 240-million dollars in tax savings. Vermonters have the highest property taxes in the country. My plan shows the details how we can move in a different direction. Try to keep some of the young people in our state from having them to leave our state – that’s what this campaign is all about."
(Keck) Brian Dubie won’t be able to debate the democrats on those points until the recount is completed. And that’s not expected to be certified by superior court until sometime next week. Until then the campaign – unusual as it may be, continues.
For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.