(Host) Former State Senator Jeb Spaulding won a big victory over former state auditor Ed Flanagan for the Democratic nomination for treasurer in Tuesday’s primary election. Spaulding defeated Flanagan by roughly a two to one margin.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) The race between Spaulding and Flanagan was easily the most contentious statewide contest during the primary election as the two candidates sparred over the role of the office, school vouchers, campaign spending and the use of push pools.
In the final week of the campaign, a number of Democratic officeholders, including Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, Attorney General Bill Sorrell and State Auditor Elizabeth Ready all endorsed Spaulding, citing Flanagan’s negative campaign tactics as a major factor in their decision.
Spaulding said last night that his victory is a sign that Vermonters want a substantial debate on the issues facing the state and not a lot of negative advertising from statewide candidates:
(Spaulding) “I think that it shows that in Vermont you can still run what you might call an old-fashioned shoe leather kind of a campaign. We were outspent by more than two-to-one but we tried to develop a network of volunteers around the state and we worked very hard getting around talking to people in person and we tried to have a positive message. And so I’m kind of chalking the whole thing up to restoring some confidence in the fact that we can run a Vermont-style campaign and be successful.”
(Kinzel) Spaulding says he’s looking forward to his general election campaign against Republican John LaBarge:
(Spaulding) “And I’m going to stick to the message that the treasurer is a person that should be all about protecting. And strengthening Vermont’s financial future and I’m going to be running a positive campaign laying out ideas on how we can do that.”
(Kinzel) Labarge, who served as House Majority leader last session, will also be running his first statewide campaign.
For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.