(Host) Burlington Representative John Tracy kicked off his campaign for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor this afternoon.
Tracy is making a bid for higher office after spending 12 years in the House.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:
(Kinzel) Tracy made his announcement in front of roughly 75 supporters in a small atrium overlooking Lake Champlain.
During his legislative career, Tracy served as both majority and minority leader of the Vermont House and most recently he chaired the special committee on health care.
In that position he played a key role in the development and passage of the health care reform law this year.
Tracy acknowledged that some lawmakers were disappointed that the final bill wasn’t more comprehensive. He argues that the plan is a critical first step in making health care accessible to all Vermonters. He also believes it would have been a big mistake for Democratic leaders to include provisions in the bill that would have resulted in Governor Douglas vetoing the legislation:
(Tracy) “Quite frankly that would have been the easy way out. I could have run a campaign for Lt. Governor saying, you know what they vetoed a bill you should get rid of them you should vote me in because I’ll keep working for health care.’ That’s not what I was sent to Montpelier to do.”
(Kinzel) Tracy says he wants to be an active Lt. Governor on a variety of issues including energy, education, economic development and health care.
If elected, he’d like to bring other Lt. Governors together from around the country to urge the President to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. Tracy is a veteran of the Vietnam War and has a son currently in basic training as a member of the Vermont National Guard:
(Tracy) “The process for bringing our troops home will not be easy but we just can’t hope that things are going to change without doing something about it. So I want to bring our voices and the voices of other lt. governors throughout this country to Washington D.C.. Change just won’t happen without leadership. I feel obligated to provide that leadership.”
(Kinzel) Tracy faces Windsor Senator Matt Dunne in the Democratic primary. It’s likely that a Progressive candidate will also jump into this race. Tracy says he isn’t concerned about the presence of a Progressive in a race that includes Republican incumbent Brian Dubie.
(Tracy) “People have to make a choice. I think I can appeal to republican voters. But you know I’m well respected across party lines because I respect everybody’s opinion. I get it. I understand. It doesn’t mean that I agree, but I respect and you need to be able to work out these differences. I have a long history of that and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
(Kinzel) Tracy says the highlights of his legislative career include reforming Act 60, passing the Civil Union bill and winning approval for this year’s health care reform measure.
For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier