Progressives Trace Their History To Sanders’ Mayoral Tenure

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Bernie Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981 by 10 votes.  His common sense approach to good government practices plus increased citizen participation inspired a generation of young Vermonters to run for the Burlington City Council and, eventually, the Vermont Legislature.  

From 1981 until 2012, for 30 years, the mayor of Burlington was a Progressive — except for the two-year stint of Republican Mayor Peter Brownell.  

Thirty-seven Progressives have served a total of 72 terms on the Burling City Council over the past 30 years.  

Sixteen Progressives  have served a total of 44 terms in the Vermont House.  

Two Progressives have served three terms in the Vermont Senate.  

Neither the Vermont Progressive Party, nor any of its candidates, has ever taken campaign contributions from corporations.   

Currently five people are running for statewide office with the Progressive nomination:   

  • Cassandra Gekas for lieutenant governor.
  • Ed Stanak for attorney general.
  • Jim Condos for secretary of state
  • Don Schramm for treasurer
  • Doug Hoffer for auditor  

Progressive candidates are running for the Vermont House and Senate in eight counties. 

Four candidates are running for the Vermont Senate with the Progressive nomination: 

  • Incumbent Anthony Pollina, Washington County.
  • Incumbent Tim Ashe and David Zuckerman, and Richard Jeroloman, Chittenden County.  

Twelve candidates are running for the Vermont House with the Progressive nomination:

  • Incumbent Christopher Pearson, Burlington.
  • Incumbent Sandy Haas, Rochester.
  • Incumbent Susan Davis, Topsham.
  • Incumbent Mollie Burke, Brattleboro.
  • Cindy Weed, Enosburg.
  • Mike O’Day, Fairfax.
  • Kathrine Sims, Lowell.
  • Bob Irish, Franklin.
  • Gene Bergman, Burlington.
  • Kit Andrews, Burlington.
  • John Taylor, Williamstown.
  • Glennie Sewell, Montpelier.

One candidate is running for the Vermont Senate with a Progressive endorsement:  Gerald Colby, Lamoille County.  

One candidate is running for the Vermont House with a Progressive endorsement:  Susan Wizowaty, Burlington.

Martha Abbott is chairwoman of the Vermont Progressive Party. Her posting is in response to an earlier News Analysis at

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