(Host) A group of House Republican lawmakers say they may vote for Progressive Anthony Pollina for lieutenant governor. They say they’d vote “Progressive” if Republican Brian Dubie comes in third and Democrat Peter Shumlin finishes first in November’s election. The group says Pollina is more trustworthy than Shumlin.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) There’s no love lost between House Republicans and Democratic candidate Peter Shumlin and in January this acrimonious relationship could help determine who the next lieutenant governor is. That’s because the Legislature will elect the lieutenant governor if no candidate receives 50% of the popular vote. It’s likely this will happen in this race because there are three strong major party candidates seeking the office.
House GOP leaders and Shumlin, who was the Democratic leader of the Senate, clashed on many key issue during the session and there were often bitter feelings between the two groups. Representative Kurt Wright, a Republican from Burlington, says a number of GOP lawmakers would consider voting for Pollina if the Republican candidate, Brian Dubie, finished third in the November vote:
(Wright) “In terms of who I feel is a more trustworthy candidate, I’m certainly philosophically not in line with Anthony Pollina but I do think that his positions that he takes are honest, sincere and straightforward. I often don’t agree with them, but I don’t always feel that with Senator Shumlin. I think some of his positions are not always what I’d like to think they are.”
(Kinzel) Pollina has maintained that the Legislature should elect the candidate who receives the most votes but he says he would accept the post if Dubie comes in third and Republicans decide to support his own candidacy:
(Pollina) “And I think public service is about responding if you’re chosen. And if the Legislature chooses someone, I think it would be very difficult for that person to not accept. I think there is a misconception out there that a Republican dominated Legislature is somehow more likely to elect a Democrat than me. That does not make sense to me.”
(Kinzel) Shumlin says he’s very disappointed by Pollina’s position and Shumlin says he will not serve as lieutenant governor unless he wins the most votes:
(Shumlin) “I fundamentally believe that no one should serve in the highest elected office or the second highest elected office in the state of Vermont if the most people voting did not vote for that candidate. This isn’t South America, it’s Vermont.”
(Kinzel) Shumlin is urging both Pollina and Dubie to reconsider their positions on this issue.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.