Pollina Still Undecided in Governor’s Race

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(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina says he will make a decision about his political future in about two weeks. Pollina says he is still strongly considering a run for lieutenant governor.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) Anthony Pollina had hoped to make an announcement about his political plans early this week but it now appears that this timetable has been pushed back for a variety of reasons.

A number of Progressives are urging Pollina to run for governor once again – he got almost 10% of the vote in the 2000 election. But another group of party members are encouraging Pollina to run for lieutenant governor because they think he can win that race.

It’s believed that Pollina was strongly eyeing the lieutenant governor’s contest until former Human Services Secretary Con Hogan announced last week that he’s dropping out of the Republican primary to run for governor as an Independent. Pollina says Hogan’s decision is a factor but Pollina does not want to be overly influenced by this development:

(Pollina) “And a number of people have said to me: You know Anthony, if we’re going to have a governor who is elected by a minority of people, if we’re going to have a lot of wheeling and dealing in the Legislature to see who gets appointed governor, we think it would be good to have you in the lieutenant governor’s office to make sure that when the dust settles Vermonters have someone that they can work with and get behind and see to it that the needs of the environment and the needs of working folks are really addressed. A lot of folks have encouraged me to consider that possibility and I’m taking that very, very seriously.”

(Kinzel) The chief duty of the lieutenant governor is to preside over the Senate. Any other role taken on by a lieutenant governor is largely determined by the person who is in the office. Pollina views this situation as a great opportunity:

(Pollina) “I do know that, were I to become lieutenant governor, I could redefine what that office is all about: use it as a way to make sure that average Vermonters are heard in the debate that takes place in Montpelier, use it as a base from which to really organize Vermonters to make sure that their issues are heard in the process.”

(Kinzel) Pollina says he plans to make an announcement about his future political plans right after Town Meeting day.

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

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