Pollina Announces for Lt. Gov, Will Run Against Shumlin

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(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina announced this afternoon that he’ll be a candidate for lieutenant governor this year. Pollina believes a success for that office would be good for his party.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) For the past few months, Pollina has been trying to decide if he should mount another campaign for governor – he received just under ten percent of the vote in the 2000 gubernatorial election – or should he run for lieutenant governor?

After talking with his supporters, Pollina has decided to run for lieutenant governor. Pollina believes it’s a race he can win and he thinks a victory would help the effort to build the base of the Progressive Party in Vermont:

(Pollina) “…and I do think it’s important for us as Progressives to elect someone to public office, you know high-ranking public office, and I think that this gives us the opportunity to do that.”

Although the only official duty of the lieutenant governor is to preside over the Vermont Senate, Pollina thinks the office could play an important role in the next few years:

(Pollina ) “I think we have a race for governor that it very likely to end up in the Legislature and I think there will be a lot of wheeling and dealing. People will be selling the store or selling out the environment whatever it takes to try to get the Legislature to appoint them. And I think when the dust settles, it will be very important to have a progressive lieutenant governor who’s there to make sure that the needs of working Vermonters and the environment and others are not forgotten in the kind of political manipulation and wheeling and dealing that’s going to go on. And I think I could play that role very effectively.”

(Kinzel) At this time, the only other announced candidate in the lieutenant governor’s race is Senate President Pro Tempore Peter Shumlin. Shumlin says he plans to distinguish his candidacy from Pollina’s by stressing his own legislative experience on health care, education financing reform and economic development issues:

(Shumlin) “I’m running because I truly believe that I can use the office of lieutenant governor to affect my vision for the future of the state. I’m not office shopping here, I’m just very anxious to continue what has been a long career that’s been dedicated to principles and goals that I think a lot of Vermonters are familiar with. And I think many will choose me as the next lieutenant governor because of that experience.”

(Kinzel) Several Republicans are considering the race for lieutenant governor, including Brian Dubie who was the GOP candidate for this office in 2000, Rutland Senator John Crowley and former Chittenden Senator Dennis Delaney.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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