Racine says he’s considering another race for governor

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(Host) The Democrat who lost to Republican Jim Douglas five years ago is considering another race for governor.

Chittenden Senator Doug Racine says a number of people have approached him about a gubernatorial challenge.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) Racine is a former lieutenant governor who narrowly lost in 2002 to then state treasurer Jim Douglas.

He was later re-elected to the Senate and chairs the Health and Welfare Committee.

But Racine says he’d still like to be governor some day.

(Racine) “I ran a close race in 2002, and while it’s discouraging to lose, I was encouraged enough by coming close to want to try again. So as people are suggesting that I think about it this year, and think that it could be an interesting race, and winnable race, I said I would think about it. So it’s the very early part of a thought process, and it’s got a long way to go.”

(Dillon) Racine faced a three-way race in 2002.

Independent candidate Con Hogan jumped in to the contest after Racine had announced.

This time around, Progressive Party activist Anthony Pollina is seriously considering running for governor. Pollina is courting Democratic support, and he filed papers on Monday with the Secretary of State’s office indicating that he is raising money for a gubernatorial race.

Racine says a possible three-way race complicates the contest.

(Racine) “And the dynamics can be interesting. I was not in a race with a Progressive Party candidate, this would be different. And, yes, it makes things much more complicated and much more problematic.”

(Dillon) The Progressives clearly hope it doesn’t turn into a multi-candidate race. Chris Pearson is a Progressive state representative from Burlington. He’s helping organize Pollina’s candidacy.

(Pearson) “We’ve been talking to Democrats and they to us about this moving forward. We remain dedicated to a head-to-head race. So I think it will add a new piece to the discussion, but I can’t say that it will change anything necessarily from our point of view.”

(Dillon) Racine declined to list specific issues that he would challenge Douglas on. Over the last several months, he’s co-chaired a council on child poverty.

The panel has held hearings around the state, and Racine said he would continue to focus on poverty issues.

(Racine) “Whatever I’m doing, whether I’m in the Legislature, running for re-election to the Legislature, or running for higher office, I’m going to be talking about what’s happening to kids in this state, and particularly those who are most vulnerable.”

(Dillon) Racine didn’t give a time frame for making a decision to run for governor.

For VPR News, I’m John Dillon in Montpelier.

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