By Jasper Craven, VTDigger.org
After weeks of discreet coordination around who would replace her as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Sue Minter resigned from the agency Thursday morning, Sept. 10, before announcing her intentions to run for governor in 2016 in an email sent out minutes later.
“I am running for governor to keep working for a better future; by growing our economy, supporting working families and preserving our environment for the next generation,” Minter said in her announcement email. “I look forward to conversations with Vermonters about our vision for Vermont’s future.”
Minter, 54, cannot file the necessary paperwork to become a candidate until she finishes at VTrans, and her campaign will hold a formal launch event in October.
Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed Minter, a Harvard and MIT graduate, as transportation secretary in January. She previously served deputy secretary of VTrans from 2011 to 2014, according to her website biography.
In 2011, Gov. Shumlin appointed then Deputy Secretary Minter as the state’s chief Irene Recovery officer after the devastating tropical storm damaged more than 500 miles of road and 34 bridges in the state. The state’s road rebuilding process took 16 weeks, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
“That experience really led me to see how much Vermonters can accomplish when they work together,” Minter told VTDigger. “Vermont wants a leader that will make Vermont work, and I’m going to be that governor.
“Where I see problems, I also see potential,” she added.
Minter said she began mulling a run after Shumlin announced he was not seeking re-election. She coordinated with the governor and others over the last couple of weeks to ensure the agency would be in good hands following her resignation.
In a news release announcing the ascent of Deputy Secretary Chris Cole to secretary, Shumlin praised Minter’s work for the state.
“For four years, Sue Minter has been working hard to keep Vermonters moving forward,” Shumlin said. “Whether it was overseeing recovery efforts following Irene, steadily improving Vermont’s transportation infrastructure, or managing one of the largest agencies in state government, Sue has been an invaluable asset to the state of Vermont.”
Two Republicans so far, Wall Street mogul Bruce Lisman and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, have also announced runs for governor in 2016, as have Democrats House Speaker Shap Smith and Matt Dunne, a Google executive.
The 2016 race with both Republican and Democratic primaries is shaping up to be one of the most contentious gubernatorial fights in years.