Just 12 shopping days left for the state's major political parties. Who are they shopping for? Candidates.
We've discussed the top of the ticket here several times. Some parties -- Republicans and Progressives -- will have empty slots up top of the ballots.
The hustle going on now, however, is to fill as much of the dance card for the House and Senate.
Assistant House Democratic Leader Floyd Nease
, D-Johnson, predicts his party will field candidates in 130 of the 150 House contests. He called that impressive. "It's fun talking to people who are excited about serving."
Democrats had about a dozen legislators retire. (Here's a few: Chen of Mendon
of Waterbury, Fallar
, Fitzgerald of St. Albans
Falls, Monti of Barre, Peterson of Williston
, and Symington
of Jericho) Nease
said Democrats had been recruited to run for all those seats. There are other places where Democrats believe a candidate could successfully challenge -- if only they could find a willing candidate. Nease
expected last ditch appeals would go out soon for those spots.
The Vermont Republican Party issued its invitation today with a mass email entitled "Vermont Needs You." The message is, 'If you ever thought of running for public office, NOW is the time to contact us."
Republicans had fewer retirees/departures. They include: Bostic
of St. Johnsbury
and in the Senate, Coppenrath
of Caledonia. The party had four seats filled during the recently completed two-year term due to death and resignation, so those "incumbents" would be running for the first time. The previously elected seat-holders were Sunderland
, Shaw of Derby, Clark of St. Johnsbury
and Hudson of Lyndon.
Party Chairman Rob Roper said the Republican slate is shaping up well, "but we are still looking for some people in Windham and Chittenden
Over at the Progressive Party, Executive Director Morgan Daybell
predicted his party would field at least a dozen House candidates. His goal is to have 14 because if all were elected, then there could be a Progressive legislator on every House committee. "That is the next benchmark for us," Daybell
Like his counterparts -- those in the Democratic and Republican parties charged with recruiting candidates, Daybell
said he'll be trying over the next week and a half to persuade a few more candidates to take the plunge.
Some time after July 21, when petitions are due, we will get a sense of the power struggle that will play out this fall for control of the Legislature.
-- Nancy Remsen