( – promoted by Jack McCullough)
UPDATE: The votes are counted in Montpelier and Corren got almost enough to qualify for the statewide ballot here.
Definitely some evidence of an organized effort by the Republicans, but nowhere near enough.
Tuesday's Democratic primary will have only one contested statewide race, and even though there is nobody on the ballot, it will probably get more attention than any other race this Tuesday. (No, there is no serious challenge to Scott Milne, who will win the Republican gubernatorial nomination easily.)
The big race is who's going to get the most write-in votes to be the Democratic candidate for Lite Gov: a Republican or a Progressive.
We come to this unusual spot because John Bauer, who started running for the Democratic slot, dropped out when he failed to qualify for public financing. Consequently, our choice is to leave that spot blank, which is what most voters will do, or write in somebody's name. Ignoring the inevitable write-ins for Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck (which is exactly what will happen to those votes, since write-ins for fictional characters are not even recorded), the contenders are incumbent Phil Scott and Progressive challenger Dean Corren, each of whom is also running on his respective party's slate.
If you're coming here to support Green Mountain Daily's goal of more and better Democrats, I hope you'll write in Dean Corren.
Historically, Corren has a lot of baggage. When he served in the Legislature in the 1990's he was tagged by Peter Freyne as one of the Self-Righteous Brothers, and he was known for being particularly hostile to the Democratic Party, and statewide Democrats who remember that will understandably hold that against him.
Nevertheless, If Dean Corren can get the Democratic nomination it will have a number of positive outcomes that we should all support.
First, Corren supports the values that liberal Democrats support. From single payer health care to a livable wage to public power, the issues Dean is staking his candidacy on are the issues that we want to advance, and that many liberal Democrats have been disappointed to see have not moved forward as far as we would like, given the strong majorities we have in both Houses.
Second, if he is elected he will serve on the Senate's important Committee on Committees, and he will be an important liberal counterweight to a committee that has taken on a center-right drift in recent years.
Third, a statewide Progressive/Democrat office holder is yet another opportunity to foster cooperation between the two liberal parties, who by rights should be working together every chance they get.
Fourth, Corren has qualified for public financing, so people who believe that public financing is better than expecting candidates to go begging to the people who stand to gain from their activities in office should consider supporting the first statewide candidate to actually do it.
Finally, and I say this as someone who likes Phil Scott personally, defeating statewide Republicans can only help the Democratic Party. There aren't that many top slots in Vermont, what with only one congressional district, and in the next several years we can expect openings that both parties will be looking to fill. To take one example, if two or four years from now Peter Shumlin decides not to run for reelection, a Phil Scott who has never lost an election, whether for Senate or Lite Gov, would look like a strong contender for the Fifth Floor. In a Republican Party with a bench that is essentially nonexistent, why would Democrats want to make the only strong statewide Republican stronger?