By Anne Galloway, VTDigger.org
On Thursday, Jan. 8, lawmakers will cast secret ballots to elect the new governor. Neither Scott Milne, the Republican candidate, nor incumbent governor Shumlin received more than 50 percent of the vote on Election Day, and under the Vermont constitution, the Legislature must now decide.
Legislators have traditionally supported the top vote-getter, Shumlin said. But he says he is not lobbying lawmakers to vote for him on Jan. 8.
Milne has said he hopes the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature will support his bid for governor.
Milne’s supporters announced on Monday, Dec. 29, that they are launching television ads and a grassroots campaign to urge lawmakers to support the Republican candidate. Shumlin beat Milne by fewer than 2,400 votes. Milne did not ask for a recount, nor has he conceded the race.
A new advocacy group, Vermonters for Honest Government, led by Bill Round, a retired U.S. Navy captain, hopes to persuade lawmakers to vote for Milne because he says Shumlin is not fit to continue in office.
Round is running television ads on WPTZ, WCAX and Local 22. He is also organizing volunteers who will be pressuring lawmakers to vote for Milne.
Round says legislators should vote against Shumlin because “he’s promised a lot and failed to deliver.” The issues the retired Newport Center resident is most exercised about include “skyrocketing” property taxes, “out of control” education spending and state budget deficits.