Scott Milne, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, announced a number of campaign hires earlier this week as candidates look to rev up general election efforts before residents receive their mail-in ballots.
The Milne campaign — which had consisted of state Sen. Corey Parent and a handful of volunteers for much of the primary contest — has now swelled to a five person team.
The staff includes Jim Barnett — who previously worked for Gov. Jim Douglas and headed up Sen. John McCain's New Hampshire effort in his 2008 presidential bid — as a "general consultant," Janet Metz is Milne's campaign coordinator, Kolby Lamarche is heading up the field and digital media effort while Republican operative Mike Donohue has taken on the role of press secretary, according to a statement released Monday.
Barnett reenters Vermont politics after serving as state Republican Party chair and working as deputy campaign manager for Douglas in 2002. His work on the campaign earned Barnett the nickname "Mad Dog" — coined by longtime Seven Days columnist Peter Freyne.
Joining the experience of Barnett is the college student Lamarche. In Sept. 2019, the Burlington Republican Committee unanimously tapped the then 17-year-old Lamarche as its chair.
During his time attending Burlington High School, he was petitioned and criticized by students for using a Hindu swastika image as the profile picture for his school email.
He told the Burlington Register in May of 2017, that he posted the image to teach students about the history of the symbol before Adolf Hitler and the Nazis used it as their emblem.