Douglas’ decision scrambles the 2010 governor’s race

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas’ decision not to seek re-election means that Republicans will need to find a gubernatorial candidate. And the decision is also likely to encourage more Democrats to run for governor.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel looks at the speculation surrounding the 2010 gubernatorial race:

(Kinzel) Lt. Governor Brian Dubie is thought to be the leading candidate for the GOP nomination and most other potential Republican candidates will probably wait for Dubie to make a decision. Dubie says he’s taking a serious look at the race:

(Dubie) "I’m also planning this weekend at the opening day at the Champlain Valley Fair, where I’ll speak at the opening ceremonies, to saunter over to the horse pull pit, also. And I’m sure I will get some wisdom there, also. So, you know, I’ll weigh input from my family and from Vermonters. And soon I will announce the conclusion of those discussions."

(Kinzel) Dubie’s possible candidacy got a big boost from Governor Douglas.

(Douglas) "I think he’s eminently qualified. He’s been working by my side for eight years, familiar with a lot of the workings of state government. …He’s certainly qualified to do it and would have my support."

(Kinzel) On the Democratic side, there are three announced candidates; Secretary of State Deb Markowitz and state senators Doug Racine and Susan Bartlett. It’s likely the field will grow because Senate President Peter Shumlin says he’s also thinking about running.

(Shumlin) "Vermont’s going to need a leader that can provide the vision and the energy and the good judgment that’s going to bring jobs back to the state, allow our economy to prosper and continue to reflect Vermont’s values that in many ways, in my judgment, has been so missing from the administration the past years."

(Kinzel) State Auditor Tom Salmon is also weighing his options, and if he runs, he says he would bring a very different economic point of view to the Democratic race because he thinks Douglas has done a good job managing the state’s finances.

(Salmon) "The state needs to have a sound financial future. And the path that he has been on regarding that has been one that needs to be instituted, whether it’s a Democrat, Republican or Progressive. …So I’m going to be very watchful of the debate and the candidates to ensure that that is on the front dashboard so to speak."

(Kinzel) Salmon says he’s concerned that the Democratic Party is drifting too far to the left on fiscal issues and he hopes to revitalize the moderate wing of the party.

For VPR News, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier

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