(Host) Progressive Anthony Pollina will announce later this week that he will be a candidate for lieutenant governor this year. Pollina says he is very disappointed that the Vermont Democratic Party is trying to make his candidacy ineligible for public campaign funding.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) On Thursday afternoon, some of the pieces of Vermont’s statewide election puzzle will begin to fall into place. After weeks of deliberation, Anthony Pollina, the Progressive Party candidate for governor in the last election, will tell supporters that he’ll run for lieutenant governor this year because he feels he can win this race, and because it’s critical for the Progressives to have a stronger voice at the Statehouse:
(Pollina) "My intention is to do what’s best, to make sure that Progressives start governing in this state, and to make sure that we begin to have a state government that really addresses the needs of average Vermonters. And I think building a strong coalition around the lieutenant governor’s race and being elected lieutenant governor may in fact be the best way to do that."
(Kinzel) Last week, the Vermont Democratic Party filed a complaint with the attorney general’s office alleging that a recent poll paid for by the Progressive Party should in fact be considered a campaign expenditure by Pollina. If that’s the case, Pollina would be ineligible to receive public financing this year.
Pollina says he has not seen detailed information about the poll and that the Democrats’ motives are self serving:
(Pollina) "It’s inconceivable to me that the attorney general would violate the rights of all Vermonters and further undermine the role of political parties in this state. I understand the Democratic Party’s position Â¿ they are very nervous. But I think they’re making a big mistake and I think they’re really going to undermine the people’s faith in the Democratic Party as well as undermine their own credibility."
(Kinzel) It’s not clear if the Progressives will field a candidate in the governor’s race this year.
Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle has been mentioned as a possible candidate but over the weekend Clavelle said he will not run for any statewide office in 2002.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.