(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina says he will be a candidate for governor this year.
Pollina says he’s planning a campaign that will present a clear alternative to the policies of Republican incumbent governor Jim Douglas.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) For the past few months, Pollina has been traveling around the state to gauge support for a possible gubernatorial run in 2008.
He says he’s been pleased with the reaction that he’s gotten and, speaking on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Pollina said he’s definitely decided to run for governor.
(Pollina) "So the answer is yes I will be a candidate for governor this year. When I announce and how I go about announcing will come at a time that is appropriate for me. And we’re taking the steps to build the campaign and we will kick off the campaign in the coming months."
(Kinzel) Pollina says he’s frustrated that Douglas has vetoed important health care reform and energy legislation in the past few years. He says both of these issues will be major concerns during his campaign.
Pollina also says he wants to be a governor who has a more positive outlook about the future of Vermont.
(Pollina ) "I think Vermonters actually want to have a governor who will remind us again of the kind of the optimism we should have and the kind of leadership we have provided the nation in the past and we’re ready to do that again."
(Kinzel) Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis thinks Pollina could emerge as a strong challenger to Douglas but only if certain things happen.
(Davis) "First of all he needs to have the active support of the Democratic Party in order to be a competitive gubernatorial candidate. He would also need to have the support of the Democratic organization in terms of the get-out-the-vote effort, in terms of the communication. He would have to be on the mailings that the Democrats send out along with all the candidates that are on the Democratic ticket."
(Kinzel) Will Pollina get that kind of support from the Democrats ? It may be difficult.
Four Democrats are currently considering running for governor: Chittenden senator Doug Racine, Senate Majority leader John Campbell, former state senator Matt Dunne and former ambassador Peter Galbraith.
Party chairman Ian Carleton says he’s convinced that one of these candidates will decide to run in the coming months:
(Carleton ) "Absolutely I expect it to be that way…because several of them have expressed serious interest in it. And all of them have come to the Democratic Party to discuss what the mechanics of running a statewide campaign might look like in this particular cycle. I’ve spoken with all of them at length about their interest in running for Governor and none of them have ruled this out."
(Kinzel) Carleton says it’s still very early in the election process and that any of the four Democratic candidates have more than enough time to develop a strong and competitive gubernatorial campaign.
For VPR News I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.