Racine Announces Candidacy for Governor

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(Host) Douglas Racine officially announced his candidacy for governor Tuesday. Racine is a three-term lieutenant governor and five-term Chittenden County senator. Speaking before supporters in Burlington, Racine emphasized economic issues as top priorities. He also accused his Republican opponent of waging a negative campaign from the start.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports.

(Racine) “I’m Doug Racine and I want to be your governor!” (Sound of cheering and applause.)

(Zind) Racine stood in the sunshine in front of his high school alma mater and made his announcement to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. In his remarks, Racine cited layoffs at IBM, in Springfield and in the Northeast Kingdom, saying these are tough times for many people:

(Racine) “Let’s address the underlying problems: Vermont workers don’t earn enough; many places missed out on the economic expansion of the 1990s and Vermont is perceived as being unfriendly to business. As governor, I will commit state government to helping all of our employers and I will develop a long term strategy that increases investments in economic development, addresses legitimate concerns about the permit process and modernizes the management of state government.”

(Zind) Racine ticked off a list of other issues including access to job training and child care, supporting family farms, providing affordable health care and improving higher education in Vermont. And he took his likely Republican opponent, Jim Douglas to task. Douglas has criticized Racine recently for not attending candidates’ forums.

(Racine) “What we have heard so far from the other side is a drumbeat of negative campaigning where the goal is to score political points and distract Vermonters from their real concerns. I challenge my opponent to stick to the issues. Jobs for Vermonters are more important than my campaign schedule.”

(Zind) Other candidates in the gubernatorial race include Progressive Michael Badamo, Independents Cornelius Hogan and Brian Pearl, and Libertarian Joel Williams.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind in Burlington.

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