Racine weighs gubernatorial bid

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(Host) Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Racine says he’s actively exploring another run for governor. Racine says the prospect of facing Burlington mayor Peter Clavelle in a primary will not be a factor in his final decision.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) Should Doug Racine try to seek a rematch of his 2002 gubernatorial campaign against incumbent Republican Governor Jim Douglas ? It’s a question that Racine and his supporters are thinking a lot about these days but there’s no final answer at this point.

Racine lost to Douglas in a bitter three-way contest in 2002 when independent candidate Con Hogan was also in the race. Racine says he’s exploring a number of options at this time:

(Racine) “Well I am considering for governor again. I’m thinking that 2004 might be the right year. I’m also thinking that maybe a later year would be appropriate. It’s too early right now to make up my mind, but I am actively considering another race next year. And I’m talking to my friends and advisors and getting their advice on what I should be doing.”

(Kinzel) Earlier this week Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle, who has run for office as a member of the Progressive Party, announced his intention to run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination next year. Racine says he fully expects to face a primary whenever he decides to run for statewide office again.

(Racine) “I recognize that having run and lost a campaign that I’m not going to have the same shot at it without a primary. So I expect that if I’m running again in 2004 – or probably any other time – that I’m going to face a primary campaign that doesn’t dissuade me from running at all.”

(Kinzel) Governor Douglas says it doesn’t matter who the Democrats run against him, he’ll run on what he feels are the accomplishments of his first term in office:

(Douglas) “I’m going to keep doing my job and not worrying about who else is seeking the office. I feel good about my stewardship for the people of Vermont, I think most Vermonters feel good about it and I expect many Democrats to be supportive when I seek reelection next year. So I’ll let the Democratic Party figure out what it wants to do in terms of opposition and just keep doing my job.”

(Kinzel) Former Democratic Windsor County Senator Peter Shumlin is also considering a run for governor next year. Shumlin hopes to make a decision about this race in about a month. Racine may wait until the end of the year.

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

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