Dean Corren, the Progressive candidate for lieutenant governor, is seeking the Democratic nomination, and though he has the unsolicited endorsement of Gov. Peter Shumlin, support from the party is slower in coming.
Corren was buoyed by the warm reception he received from the Vermont Democratic Party state committee meeting on Saturday. He says that if he can get more than 250 write-in votes on the Democratic primary ballot, securing the support of the party pooh-bahs will be no problem.
“Considering they responded very positively, I have to take it that they agreed with my position on health care,” Corren said.
The Burlington resident and longtime health care reform activist said party leaders like his message on their signature issue: The development of a single payer health care system. Corren wrote the first single payer health care bill when he was a representative. He and the governor are in sync with the need for single payer, he says.
“I will do more to help the economy and the government to get control of health care costs that will result in more sustainable job creation than anything Phil Scott has done,” Corren said.
In his view, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, the Republican incumbent, has made single payer an either/or proposition.
“The difference is night and day, it’s not health care or jobs; it’s health care and jobs,” he said.
The Republicans, Corren says, “are in full self-destruct mode and are entirely out of touch with what Vermonters want.”
The recent successes of the Progressive and Democratic parties, he said, shows that when they work together it’s not “a zero sum game.” Corren says “both parties can succeed simultaneously.”
Democratic party leaders have asked Corren to come back to their September meeting for an official endorsement.
The state committee didn’t vote on whether to support Corren on Saturday because there was some confusion about the rules regarding endorsements for candidates from other parties.
Corren qualifies for $200,000 worth of public funding, divvied up between the primary and general election.