AP NEWS

Vermont lieutenant governor running for governor

January 13, 2020 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman said Monday that he’s running for governor.

Zuckerman said after his announcement on Facebook Live that he planned to seek the Democratic Party nomination and run a write-in campaign for the Progressive Party nomination. If he wins both, his name would appear on the November ballot as a Progressive/Democrat as he has done in his previous statewide races.

In his announcement, Zuckerman, 48, a farmer and businessman from Hinesburg who was first elected lieutenant governor in 2016, said among his goals as governor would be to work to build an economy with jobs that pay enough for workers to support themselves. He’s also committed to “fighting the climate crisis” in a way that builds economic opportunity and expanding access to health care while bringing costs under control.

“These last three years we have not seen the vision or actions that Vermonters need,” Zuckerman said in his brief announcement speech. “I am running for governor because I see great opportunities to address these struggles, and I want us to really do something about the challenges that keep getting talked about.”

Incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott has not announced whether he will seek reelection to a third term, but he is widely expected to run.

Scott spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley said the governor was starting the second half of his term and he remained focused on his goals of expanding the Vermont economy and making the state more affordable while protecting the most vulnerable.

“As he said in his State of the State (last week), Vermont faces a demographic crisis that’s impacting state government’s ability to fund our obligations and shared priorities,” Kelley said. “Pursuing solutions to this challenge, so we can grow our way out of it and continue to fund the essential work of state government is where he’ll remain focused.”

In Vermont, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately.

Former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe is also seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Zuckerman’s decision opens up the lieutenant governor’s office. Democratic and Progressive Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe has said he would run for lieutenant governor if Zuckerman runs for governor.

Brenda Siegel, of Newfane, who came in third in the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary, said she also intends to run for lieutenant governor. Assistant Attorney General Molly Gray has also said she’d consider a run if Zuckerman runs for governor.

Republican Meg Hansen, of Manchester, has said she’s interested in the lieutenant governor’s office.