By Anne Galloway, VTDigger.org
Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin declared at his campaign launch on Monday Sept. 8 that he has put Vermont on a “progressive path” through a “bold” leadership style and investments in job creation, renewable energy, early childhood education and opiate addiction treatment. Shumlin touted the new GMO labeling law and his single payer health care reform plan as signature Vermont initiatives.
“This election, I am going to be asking Vermonters to continue to say yes to progress and to continue to make bold choices that will lift incomes for middle class Vermonters and keep Vermont moving up,” Shumlin said.
As promised, the governor held off on announcing his candidacy until after Labor Day. In his 15-minute pitch for a third term, the governor sounded familiar themes and took shots at his Libertarian and Republican opponents. About 150 people—administration officials, lawmakers, Democratic party officials and lobbyists—attended the hour-long event at Main Street Landing in Burlington. Progressive Party candidate for lieutenant governor Dean Corren was also on hand for the launch.
The governor has been in office for four years and has been under fire for the costly glitches in the state’s health care exchange system and economic policies that have not solved the growing gap between state spending and tax receipts.
His first priority for a third term in office is a single payer health care system that would “take the burden off the employer and simplify the system for all Vermonters.” The governor has yet to release a plan for financing the $2 billion program.
“I was elected to get tough things done, and this may be the toughest,” Shumlin said. “I will not rest until it’s done.”
His main opponents, Republican Scott Milne and Libertarian Dan Feliciano, are “good, well-meaning folks,” he said, but their ideas are “wrong for Vermont and they will take the state backwards.”