Democrats nix Pollina support

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(Host) Democratic Party chairman Ian Carleton says it’s unlikely that the party would support Progressive Anthony Pollina, if Pollina decides to run for Governor next year.

Carleton says he’s confident that a strong Democratic candidate will emerge in the coming months.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) In the past two gubernatorial elections, the Vermont Progressive Party didn’t run their own candidate for governor and instead informally supported the Democratic candidates, Peter Clavelle and Scudder Parker.

However the Progressive Party is viewing the 2008 election in a very different light.

A number of party leaders want to field their own candidate next year who will strongly challenge the policies of three-term incumbent Republican Jim Douglas.

Speaking on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Progressive Party Co Chairman Anthony Pollina acknowledged that many members of his party are urging him to run for governor in 2008. Pollina has previously run for Governor and Lt. Governor:

(Pollina) "What we’re looking for is someone who can bring together Progressives, Democrats, Independents and others to present a vision that’s different than the Douglas vision we talk about? Is Vermont going in the right direction? We rank 48th in terms of states when it comes to wages and income growth. We have still about the most expensive state colleges in the country. We’re seeing our family farms disappear. We’ve lost a lot of good manufacturing jobs. Vermont’s not doing all that great."

(Kinzel) Democratic Party chairman Ian Carleton doesn’t see a scenario where his party would support a Pollina candidacy because Carleton is convinced that there will be a strong Democratic candidate in 2008:

(Carleton) "Anthony is an independent thinker. He’s going to make up his own mind about whether he’s going to run for governor. I entertain conversations with anybody whether they’re Republicans, Progressives, Democrats. But I don’t think that we’re going to have to get to that point."

(Kinzel) Pollina says he’ll make a final decision about entering the gubernatorial race by the end of the month.

For VPR News I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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