Milne joins race for lieutenant governor

Scott Milne
Scott Milne speaks to reporters after his loss to incumbent Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy in the 2016 election. File photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

Businessman Scott Milne announced Thursday that he is joining the race for lieutenant governor.

Milne, who is the president of the travel agency Milne Travel, declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the post hours before the deadline to file for the Aug. 11 primary.

Milne faces two opponents in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. Meg Hansen, from Manchester, launched her campaign in December. Dana Colson, of Sharon, is running as part of a coalition of “Agri-publicans.”

Milne said the impact of the coronavirus crisis on Vermont’s economy was part of why he decided to run for the office.

“This year more than ever with what we have coming up, we need people who have experience with small business,” Milne said.

Another factor for the Pomfret Republican is support for Gov. Phil Scott who he said needs “a partner and not an adversary in the lieutenant governor’s office.” Milne said he has been in touch with Scott about joining the race.

Milne ran for governor in 2014 and came within 2,434 votes of unseating incumbent Gov. Peter Shumlin. In 2016, he lost a bid for one of Vermont’s U.S. Senate seats as the Republican challenger to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

Milne said that he has learned “a lot” from his previous campaigns, and acknowledged that campaigning during the Covid-19 crisis is likely to look different than other races. 

“I’m not dying to run again, but I see a need this year and I think I bring a skillset that can be of great value to people and I think I can help make a difference for Vermont,” Milne said.

VTDigger is underwritten by:

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, Assistant Attorney General Molly Gray, Sen. Debbie Ingram, D-Chittenden, and progressive activist Brenda Siegel are competing for the Democratic nomination. Cris Ericson is running as a Progressive.

Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman is running for governor.

Milne said he is still working on details of his platform, but he believes that it will be important to have someone with experience with small business in Vermont to help the state recover from the coronavirus.

“There’s monumental problems coming for Vermont,” Milne said. “There’s going to be a long tail on this for small businesses.”

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