With six weeks until Election Day, five candidates for Vermont governor are jockeying for voters’ attention.
One of the lesser-known candidates is independent Emily Peyton.
This election season marks Peyton’s second time running for governor. She was on the ballot in 2010 but withdrew her bid a week before voters went to the polls, encouraging supporters to endorse Democrat Peter Shumlin instead.
This year, Peyton is back, pushing a platform that includes socialized medicine, the creation of a state bank and the legalization of industrial hemp as an economic and environmental change-agent.
"If we continue down the path of the two-party system supporting the big oil, we will not have a 22nd century to offer our children," she says emphatically. "So what I’m offering is that we square with that, we look at it, and we deal with it. So my campaign is saying to get off oil, that we will pledge to get off oil in five years."
Peyton has provided few specifics on how to accomplish this five-year goal, but has indicated she thinks hemp could be one important fuel source. The reintroduction of industrial hemp is highlighted in the Peyton platform as a resource for many products and a job stimulator. Vermont passed legislation in 2008 to allow the growing of agricultural hemp as soon as the federal government lifts restrictions. Peyton says she would fight the federal policy, which she believes is a violation of free and fair international trade.
On healthcare, Peyton takes a holistic approach that includes financial and environmental stress reduction. She’s calling for a system modeled on Cuba’s socialized medicine, asking"why are we paying any sort of private insurance company when we could be paying for the education of our doctors and nurses and they could, in turn, give us service?"
Peyton is running a self-funding campaign with few details about her financial sourcs. But she is explicit about her refusal to accept campaign donations.
"This seems fairly obvious to me that a leader cannot make a clear decision, an unbiased decision and accept campaign donations. And that’s the entire issue. Are our people bought? Are politicians bought? And yes, they are bought. And so it’s a matter of integrity."
Peyton’s first opportunity to debate the other four candidates for governor occurs on Vermont Public Television October 4th.