The Vermont Progressive Party will have four statewide candidates, three incumbent senators and 14 House candidates running for office in the 2014 election.
The Progressive party, one of four state major parties, announced its slate on Saturday — well ahead of the Vermont Democratic Party and the Vermont GOP, and the June 12 filing deadline for candidates. While the Democrats are fielding a preponderance of incumbents, the Republicans have announced some House and Senate candidates, but have yet to declare who will be running for statewide office, including the gubernatorial race. The Vermont Liberty Union Party, which gained major party status in the 2012 election, is also fielding a slate of statewide candidates and a candidate for the House of Representatives, who may be the sole contender for Rep. Peter Welch’s seat.
Progressive Party officials touted the “real growth” in the number of candidates since 2012.
A candidate for governor will not be among the Progressive statewide candidates. The party endorsed Gov. Peter Shumlin in the last two election cycles. Progressives support the governor’s single-payer plan and his push to close Vermont Yankee. In 2008, state Sen. Anthony Pollina, then a candidate for governor, beat out Democrat Gaye Symington. Both lost to Gov. Jim Douglas.
Many of the candidates on the Progressive party slate are running as Progressives and Democrats.
Doug Hoffer, the state auditor, is the Progs’ standard-bearer for statewide officeholders. Hoffer, who also ran as a Democrat, was elected on his second try in 2012. The other three candidates — Dean Corren for lieutenant governor, Don Schramm for state treasurer, and Ben Eastwood for Secretary of State — have not previously held statewide office and they are running solely on the Progressive ticket. Schramm lost his bid for state treasurer in 2012. Corren, a former state representative from 1993-2000 and staffer for Sen. Bernie Sanders, will be seeking public financing.
The Progs see Corren, a former state representative from 1993-2000, the chief technology officer for Verdant Power, and former staffer for Sen. Bernie Sanders, as the lead newcomer in this election cycle.
Morgan Daybell, a spokesman for the Progs, said in a statement: “Our party is proud and excited to have such a great slate of Progressive-endorsed statewide candidates this year, led by the remarkable Dean Corren. In addition to his long history with the party and with Vermont politics, Dean is an inventor and entrepreneur, and unlike our current lieutenant governor, has been a leader in the fight for universal, single-payer healthcare for decades.”
The Progressives hope to hang on to three Senate seats held by Sens. Tim Ashe, Anthony Pollina and David Zuckerman. Ashe, who is now the chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, has run as a Democrat first and Progressive second. Pollina is listed a Progressive/Democrat, and Zuckerman is a Progressive, with no letter D attached.
The House candidates include five incumbents — Chris Pearson, Chittenden 6-4; Cindy Weed, Franklin-7; Susan Hatch Davis, Orange-1; Mollie Burke, Windham 2-2; and Sandy Haas, Windsor-Rutland.
The nine new candidates are: Amy Sheldon, Addison 1; Robert Millar, Chittenden 6-7; Carl Davis, Orleans 2; Jeremy Hansen and Marvin Malek, Washington 1; Glennie Sewell and Ivan Shadis, Washington 4; Teresa Ellsworth, Windham-Bennington-Windsor; and Stephanie Thompson, Windsor 3-2.