(Host) Former Human Services Secretary Con Hogan says he’s running as an independent candidate for governor this year because he hopes to “light a fire” with Vermont voters. He wants to help end partisan fighting that he says is undermining the state’s political system.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) When Con Hogan announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for governor several months ago, Hogan was convinced he could win by bringing independent voters into the Republican primary. Hogan says these voters are still the key to his being elected governor, but now he hopes to marshal their support as an independent candidate for governor.
Hogan says he decided to leave the Republican primary because many GOP officials were bitter and resentful about his candidacy. Most of these officials had publicly endorsed State Treasurer Jim Douglas and they did not want the Party to face a divisive primary battle.
Hogan says the cornerstone of his independent candidacy is the belief that partisan politics is destroying the state’s political system:
(Hogan) “And if the people of Vermont honor me to be the next governor of Vermont, non-partisanship will be the hallmark of my administration. I know I can help bring Vermont back together. I have never run for political office until this campaign. I have never raised money for political purposes. I owe no one and no one owes me.”
(Kinzel) Hogan says the largest voting bloc in the state includes people who think of themselves as independents, and it’s clear he wants to appeal to this group:
(Hogan) “Because this frees me now to really reach out to where most Vermonters are. And it’s more me. It’s who I’ve beenÂ¿and yes I believe I can light a fire here. It may finally be time for a real contest and a real opportunity to have an independent governor of Vermont.”
(Kinzel) Hogan says he will not take public financing in this campaign because he does not have a large statewide organization in place. He expects that he will need to raise about $300,000 to run an effective campaign. To date, he has raised $80,000 and he has lent his campaign another $50,000.
For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.