On video: Jim Condos announces bid for Vermont Secretary of State; runs on transparency platform

Former state senator Jim Condos

Jim Condos, a Democrat from South Burlington, announced his campaign for Vermont Secretary of State in the Cedar Creek Room of the Statehouse on Wednesday afternoon.

Condos who represented Chittenden County in the state Senate from 2001 to 2008, declared that he would bring a new level of transparency to the office, now held by gubernatorial candidate Deb Markowitz — though he declined to point to specific instances in which the secretary had not enforced the public right to know law.

Nor did he offer substantive comments regarding some of the government transparency issues that have recently emerged – such as the Burlington Telecom scandal, state universities’ push for a special exemption to the law for anonymous donors and the controversy around the behind-closed-door meetings for the Challenges for Change state restructuring effort.

For the time being, Condos is taking a leave of absence from his job as a government and community relations manager for Vermont Gas Systems – which he said he hopes will be permanent.

Condos served as the chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee and Senate Education Committee. He was a member of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns board of directors from 1999 to 2005.

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Anne Galloway

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  • Caleb Pitkin

    I would have been interested to hear more about Jim’s thoughts on some of the issues confronting the Secretary of State’s office. His primary opponent, Charles Merriman has squarely addressed, in a number of recent op-ed pieces, many specific issues involving transparency in government, open meeting laws, campaign finance, the importance of town meeting, and a host of other issues.

    I have some concern that much of Jim’s public service has been in a partisan role as State Senator. The SOS is a non-partisan office. For the past fifteen years Charlie Merriman has been working closely with local officials as an assistant Attorney General and a municipal lawyer, providing the exactly the kind of assistance that is required of the office.

    Charlie has been the attorney for the Town of Cabot (where I serve as Chair of the selectboard) for a number of years. In that capacity I have found that he has an extraordinary understanding of the problems faced by municipal officials on a daily basis. Furthermore, it has been my experience that he has a knack for reducing complex issues to their simplest terms, and is an excellent communicator – all qualities required by the office, and some of the reasons why I am supporting Charlie Merriman for Secretary of State.

  • Connie Godin

    I don’t think the SOS office has been non partisan since our current Gov used to run on both tickets. Markowitz certainly wasn’t.