Pollina weighs another run for lieutenant governor

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(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina says a lot of members of his party are urging him to run for lieutenant governor next year. Pollina says it may be a few months before he makes a final decision.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) A key player in next year’s statewide election says he’s in no hurry to decide what his role is going to be. In 2002, Progressive Anthony Pollina ran for lieutenant governor in a three-way race with Democrat Peter Shumlin and Republican Brian Dubie. Pollina received roughly 25 percent of the vote and many Democrats felt he denied Shumlin enough votes to win the election.

The Democrats are hoping to avoid a similar situation in a number of statewide and legislative races in 2004 and they’ve talked about a policy of cooperation with the Progressives in a number of contests.

Pollina, who’s mulling over his options for next year, says it’s very clear that most Progressives want him to run again for lieutenant governor:

(Pollina) “Both Progressives as well as some Democrats and independents are encouraging me to run every day. It’s unanimous among Progressives that they believe that we can and should run – not only a candidate for lieutenant governor, but frankly candidates in other statewide races.”

(Kinzel) Pollina says he’s concerned that the “policy of cooperation” between the Democrats and the Progressives will turn out to be a one-way street. A decision by Burlington’s progressive mayor Peter Clavelle to run as a Democrat in next year’s gubernatorial race has heightened some Progressives’ concerns about a possible alignment with the Democrats:

(Pollina) “Unfortunately a lot of Democrats will say that they want us to cooperate and then in the next breath they say that Progressives and people like myself should not be running for office. That’s not cooperation. That shows that their priority is really to eliminate the Progressive Party. I think it’s important that there be a lot of voices involved in Vermont elections and I think that they need to understand that real cooperation means that we cooperate, not that one party disappears.”

(Kinzel) Pollina says he’s thoroughly enjoying his current role as a radio talk show host and it’s unlikely that he’ll make a final decision about his political plans for several months. There’s speculation that Pollina may run for the state Senate in Washington County, but Pollina says he’s not seriously looking at this option.

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

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