By Tom Brown, VTDigger.org
Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott answered challenger Dean Corren’s call for at least 10 debates Tuesday with a number of his own—four.
Scott’s campaign manager, Rep. Patti Komline, R-Dorset, said the three-term incumbent lieutenant governor would rather travel the state listening to voters than champion his own views in exchanges with Corren.
“The role of lieutenant governor is consensus-building,” Komline said Tuesday. “It’s harder to build consensus when you only hear your own ideas.”
Corren, a Progressive who also earned the Democratic nomination via a write-in campaign on primary election day, called Scott’s decision to limit the debates “pretty pathetic.” The four debates Scott has committed to began Friday, Sept. 12, at the Tunbridge World’s Fair (which was called a draw.) Other will be Oct. 16 on Vermont PBS, Oct. 20 on Burlington’s Channel 17 public access and a yet-to-be-determined meeting at Johnson State College.
The race for the state’s number two job is expected by most pundits to be the most competitive of the statewide contests in November.
Corren became the first candidate in a decade to qualify for public campaign financing, which upped the ante for Scott in the usually moderately priced contest. Corren can receive up to $150,000 in public money for the general election campaign (he qualified for up to $50,000 for the primary).
Scott raised more than $190,000 in the 2012 election cycle and has said he intends to match Corren’s total.