Dean Corren, P/D

With the announcement that Dean Corren is the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, as well as the Progressive candidate, lonely Republican Phil Scott is on notice that he won’t be able to coast to reelection.

This will be strange for Scott, whose biggest challenges in recent years have come from within his own party, which refused to retool its pervasively losing strategies.

Scott will finally have to draw some distinguishing lines in the sand rather than simply rely, GW-style, on being the guy with whom voters would most like to have a beer.

That is going to be awkward for the happy fence sitter.

Some of those lines of distinction have already been drawn by the manner in which the two candidates are funding their campaigns:

The Progressive and Democratic unity candidate challenging the incumbent is publicly financed thanks to raising over 800 small donations from only Vermont voters. He is limited to spending $200,000. Meanwhile, the Republican incumbent is following a path of collecting big donations from PACs, corporations and wealthy supporters. Over 82% of the $162,041 he’s raised comes from these sources.

The Shumlin/Milne matchup looks to be a weary rerun of  Shumlin/Brock.

By contrast, the Governor Lite debates should prove fascinating.

Most interesting will be engagements over environmental issues.  An area of strength for Corren, questions on the environment will force Scott to commit to public positions favored by the Republican minority or risk losing his base.

This is not something he has been eager to do in the past, but is of proven significance to Vermont voters, and therefore cannot be avoided.

Scott would probably much rather talk about the economy and all the Chamber events he has graced as Lt. Governor.

Heads up, Mr. Scott; this year’s election ain’t no Chamber mixer.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

2 thoughts on “Dean Corren, P/D

  1. In the 2012 election, Cass Gekas was able to secure 40.4% of the vote to Phil Scott’s 57.1%. Astonishingly, Ms. Gekas received more votes than Republican Randy Brock did in the Governor’s race. The relatively unknown Progressive-Democratic candidate entered the race late in the cycle, and was woefully outspent. Ms. Gekas raised a total of $49,595 to Mr. Scott’s $190,415.95. Much has been made of the fact that with Mr. Corren’s use of public financing, that disparity won’t exist this year. And, while Mr. Scott has attempted to make Mr. Corren’s use of public funds an “issue”, it doesn’t appear to have legs. While Ms. Gekas made great efforts to articulate differences between her and the incumbent two years ago, I think this quote from a pre-election interview sums up the biggest challenge she faced in taking on the incumbent.

    “I do wish that we focused a little bit more on what people have actually done with their position of leadership, and what they want to do, as opposed to who we would want to grab a beer with,” she says. “Because Phil is a nice guy, I don’t see people asking him a lot of questions or pushing back on him in meaningful ways.”

    I appreciate the efforts made by Mr. Corren to date, but I fail to see how much has changed on that front. Mr. Corren’s campaign has so far avoided some of the “missteps” of Ms. Gekas’ campaign, but I’m not convinced this campaign will be about “lines of distinction”.

    What’s I find fascinating, and likely problematic for the Lieutenant Governor, is the absolute ineptness of the VTGOP this election cycle. I suspect what worries Mr. Scott’s campaign most is not Mr. Corren’s campaign as much as Mr. Milne’s. Should Vermont Republican voters decide the Governor’s race is a forgone conclusion and stay home on election day, the Lt. Governor race could be a horse race.  

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