By Jasper Craven, VTDigger.org
Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden, announced Tuesday, Nov. 10, he is running for lieutenant governor next year.
Zuckerman joins a young cohort of Democrats running for lieutenant governor — Burlington Rep. Kesha Ram, 29, and Brandon Riker, 28, of Marlboro, a relatively unknown candidate who has never held elected office, as well as former Politico magazine editor Garrett Graff, who has spent the past few years working and living in Washington (however, state residency rules could make him ineligible.)
Former gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock is the only Republican to have announced a bid for the position being left open by Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, who is running for governor.
Also running is independent Dr. Louis Meyers of Williston.
Rep. Chris Pearson, chair of the Progressive caucus, said he assumed the party would line up behind Zuckerman, as they have in his previous Senate races.
The Progressive Party is also hoping to run a candidate for governor, citing a betrayal by Gov. Peter Shumlin on liberal policy proposals, especially single payer health care.
There’s “a lot of internal pressure to run someone because the ramifications of what happened with Peter Shumlin,” Zuckerman told VTDigger on Saturday at a convention for the party.
Zuckerman said that if he does not clinch the Democratic nomination, it was “very unlikely” that he would run as a candidate on the Progressive Party ticket.
Zuckerman, who runs Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg with his wife, Rachel, said he made the decision to run for lieutenant governor after consulting with friends and constituents. He said he was able to dedicate more time to mulling a run following the end of peak farming season this summer.
Zuckerman, 44, said he would be an advocate on issues including climate change, education reform and the economy.
“As a farmer and business person, I recognize how the economy is growing,” Zuckerman said. “The rural economy is a huge piece of Vermont’s future.”
As senator, Zuckerman sits on the Agriculture and Education committees, serving as vice chair of the former. He served in the House and Senate for 17 years.
He has been a champion of marijuana legalization, and introduced a bill in the past legislative session to legalize and regulate the substance.
“I’m going to have a kickoff event in December,” Zuckerman said.
Zuckerman is a Boston native, but came to Vermont in the early 1990s to study at the University of Vermont. He majored in environmental studies and minored in chemistry and graduated in 1995.
He has served on the Burlington Electric Light Commision and the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher Committee, according to his legislative biography.