A Republican from Southern Vermont has announced her run for lieutenant governor.
Meg Hansen, host of the YCN show, “Dialogues with Meg Hansen,” is looking to unseat David Zuckerman, a Progressive/Democrat who has served at lieutenant governor since 2017.
The 34-year-old Manchester resident announced her campaign with a press release and video Tuesday morning.
Steven Kenney, CFO of Central Vermont Medical Center, will serve as the treasurer of the campaign, which Hansen reports has already raised $35,000 from early donors.
Hansen said a key priority will be making Vermont a “pro-freedom” state. She plans to center the campaign largely around changing the state’s health care policies. Hansen has spoken out against OneCare and the all-payer model, which she called an example of a “shocking lack of accountability to the public from politicians and bureaucrats when they botch programs and waste taxpayer monies.”
Hansen was born in India and has lived in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Norway, according to her campaign announcement. She has a master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College and an MBBS (British) medical degree from Kasturba Medical College in India. She has also studied fashion at Polimoda Fashion School in Florence, Italy, according to her website.
Hansen said she went to medical school in part because her parents were both doctors, and she felt like that was her legacy, but soon after graduating, realized that her passion was actually for writing and communications.
For the past several years, that’s been her professional realm. Hansen has led a small communications firm, Pierson A. Harleth Co., and a small health care think tank, Vermonters for Health Care Freedom.
Now, she is temporarily living in Manchester, where her husband is working as a librarian, though she said Windsor and the Upper Valley is her true home.
In Tuesday’s announcement, Hansen said her campaign will champion freedom in three critical areas for Vermonters: the economy, health care, and education. She said that should happen through tax reforms and expanded freedom in health insurance choices and school choices.
“In my extensive travels across the state, I have had numerous conversations with Vermonters who want to own homes, thriving businesses, and farms but cannot,” Hansen said. “I have heard from so many who want to be able to raise children, build careers, and grow old here but cannot.”
Hansen argues that first and foremost, Vermont needs economic growth, and to achieve that economic growth, she says, the state needs to become pro-freedom.
“I believe this is the moral path for Vermont and that is why I am running for the office of Lt. Governor,” Hansen said.
Hansen said the office of lieutenant governor in particular appealed to her because the reforms that she’s interested in aren’t local issues, but rather, things that would be addressed statewide.
“[The office of lieutenant governor] is a platform where you can reach out to people over issues that are forgotten and overlooked,” Hansen said. “When I considered that, and my own experiences, I thought, you know what, I’m qualified, I want to campaign for this statewide.”
In 2015, Hansen was picked by the Republican National Committee as a Republican Leadership Initiative Fellow, the first Vermonter to receive the grassroots development fellowship. In September, Hansen spoke on a diversity panel at the National Federation of Republican Women.
“The tendency of some media and cultural influencers to stereotype Republicans in self-serving ways divides and hurts the people of Vermont,” she said in a statement. “Our campaign defies lazy labels.”
Hansen said as the campaign gets underway, her team will operate under the theme “Small Towns Big Hearts” — ”because that’s who we are.”
“As Lt. Governor, my #1 priority will be to represent and advocate for Vermonters whose interests have been unfairly overlooked for too long.” she wrote. “I am committed to advancing collaborative, grassroots solutions that address the unique needs and concerns of our local communities.”
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