The last remaining shred of doubt has dissipated: Scott Milne, owner of Milne Travel, will run for Governor as a Republican… setting up what must certainly be the first Travel Agent vs. Travel Agent gubernatorial election in Vermont history.
Milne showed up at the Secretary of State’s office around 4 p.m. to turn in his petitions, and have his first media confab as a formal candidate.
He talked about running a grassroots campaign on “pocketbook issues,” with an emphasis on finding affordable solutions for health care reform and the public education system.
He was short on specific ideas. He allowed as to how Governor Shumlin’s refusal to actively campaign until September gives him some time to fashion policy initiatives. Job one for his newborn campaign is building an organization; he doesn’t even have a campaign manager yet. And his official announcement isn’t likely to happen until around the Fourth of July.
He said he’d actually decided to be a candidate “about three weeks ago,” but rethought the situation after Randy Brock’s withdrawal. Milne was hoping for a strong primary that would give the Republicans the media spotlight throughout the summer. After concluding that victory was still possible — even though unlikely — he affirmed his earlier decision.
As of this writing, we’re still waiting for an updated candidate list from the Secretary of State; they’ve had their hands full processing petitions today.
Also, a footnote to my earlier post about John Bauer’s failure to qualify for public financing and subsequent withdrawal from the race for Lieutenant Governor. I put the blame on the Democratic Party for failing to give him the backing that the Progressive Party gave to Dean Corren. I talked with a well-connected Democrat who said that a lack of communication from Bauer’s side was part of the problem — that as of yesterday afternoon, party officials were being assured that Bauer would, in fact, qualify.
I don’t want to start a shitfight here. My sense is that there’s substantial goodwill between Bauer and the party. Maybe some bruised feelings, but nothing that will last. But the Dems — at least a lot of them — did want to see Bauer qualify for public financing, and were surprised that he didn’t.
One more note: we might very well see the Dems endorse Corren, which would be a positive thing.
Stay tuned, as they say.