(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina says he intends to run for governor next year. Pollina hopes to win the support of many Democrats and Independents in his effort to unseat three-term Republican governor Jim Douglas.
Pollina says he sees the 2008 gubernatorial election as the beginning of a long term collaboration between Progressives and Democrats in Vermont.
VPRs Bob Kinzel reports.
(Pollina) "Good afternoon welcome to Equal Time I appreciate you being here as always and as always encourage you to give us a call."
(Kinzel) For the past few years, Pollina has expressed his political views on the airwaves as the host of a weekday afternoon talk show on WDEV in Waterbury.
He’s also been involved in the creation of the Vermont Milk Company – a business that offers dairy farmers new opportunities with its bottling facility in Harwick.
Over the course of the summer and fall, Pollina has been talking with Democratic Party officials about the need to find a consensus candidate to run for governor in 2008. The goal is to avoid setting up a three person race that would virtually ensure Douglas’s re-election.
Pollina says he now intends to be that candidate:
(Pollina) "It’s really too important to have those of us who want to defeat Jim Douglas to be splintered in our efforts… I certainly do expect to see myself be a candidate to be the candidate, but I would like to be the candidate that actually can bring together not just Progressives and Democrats but all those other folks whether they call themselves Republicans, Independents or whatever they are. A lot of folks that want to see the state go in another direction and I think we should do it together."
(Kinzel) Pollina is hoping that his gubernatorial campaign can mark the beginning of a more permanent collaboration between the Progressives and the Democrats:
(Pollina)"We believe in many of the same things.We support each other on most issues and we have to find ways to work together and not just to win this election but to form a more longer lasting coalition that could really take Vermont where we need to go."
(Kinzel) Ian Carleton is the chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party. He’s not convinced that Pollina is committed to running for governor at this time and he expects there will be further discussions between the Democrats and Pollina.
(Carleton) "Anthony, I think, specifically stated that he did not declare his candidacy today and this isn’t the time for declarations and that these conversations need to evolve over the next few weeks and months, and that’s exactly how I expect things to transpire."
(Kinzel) Carleton says there are three Democrats seriously exploring a run for governor — Senate Majority leader John Campbell, former state senator Matt Dunne and former ambassador Peter Galbraith. He says it’s too early to tell if any of these candidates might still emerge as the consensus candidate to challenge Douglas.
For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot