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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



The lure of that open gubernatorial seat

Thursday afternoon, House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, couldn't have been more clear.

When asked if he would consider a run for governor, he said, "I'm planning to run for re-election in the House."

He said he'd received calls from several people suggesting he consider becoming a gubernatorial candidate and apparently the idea started to grow on him. That and he had a chance to talk with his wife later in the day, he said.

Friday he joined those talking about the new opportunities in the "changed political landscape."

"I'm very interested in continuing to work for Vermont. I'm looking at a variety of ways I can do that." Running for governor is one of the ways he's pondering, he said, although he added, "My inclination is to run for re-election."

If you are keeping count of all the Democrats committed to or considering gubernatorial runs, here's our best list of the moment:
Deb Markowitz, current secretary of state
Doug Racine, state senator
Susan Bartlett, state senator,
Peter Shumlin, Senate president pro tempore
Shap Smith, House speaker
Tom Salmon, state auditor

-- Nancy Remsen

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It is a shame that no one that is more moderate, honest of fiscally responsible has put their hat into the ring. The list of potential candidates is just a bunch of tired old spendthrift retreads. Vermont needs some fresh faces with new ideas, not just the same old stuff that any of these folks would have to offer. I fear the Democrats controlling the Legislature, Senate, and governors office, as there will no longer be any checks, or balances. It would be a miniature version of what is happening on a national level.

Are there any good moderates out there that could be convinced to run?

what about that fish guy?
Racine is still the only viable candidate. Go Doug.
Smith needs to get over his own arrogant little self. Everyone knows that Nease does all the grunt work. Smith is pure window dressing.
Apparently, Tom Salmon wants to be thought of as the "moderate" guy. The problem is, if he runs on that platform, he'll never make it past the Democratic primary, where the most strident ultraleft rhetoric gets you the win.
There are some moderate Democrats in that pack, but they have to keep those tendencies quiet or the Green Mountain Daily wing of the party will crucify them. The Dems should win this election, but they do have be smart about it, especially if the GOP runs a moderate like Martha Rainville. A far-left liberal or progressive Democrat that would make the GMDers and the Progs happy could still lose in a race like that.

On the other hand, a centrist Democrat like Howard Dean would almost certainly draw the Progs' ire and get a Pollina or Zuckerman in the race, with bad consequences for the left.

The Dems need a quietly moderate candidate who can keep the far left wing happy in a primary, then move to the center in the general election.
Salmon is a sincere guy who cares about vermont but the vermont democrats would never support him.
Martha Rainville can not run for Vt Statewide - she even acknowledges that she is a resident of Virginia.

Vt law states that you must be a resident of Vt for 2 years before a run for statewide ofice.

She will now not be able to meet that requirement for 2010.
Howierd Dean a centrist? Those days are long gone!
SALMON for Governor
It looks like the Vermont Democratic Party wants notheing to do with Tom Salmon. Thats too bad.
SALMON for dinner. With lemon and almonds
Maybe Salmon would have a better chance as a Republican. It tells you something when the Democrats do not support any moderates in their own party.
NEK: True, Dems do not support moderates in their party, but do Republicans? No.
Tom Salmon is Vermont! He has experience as an elected official, a state employee, an educator and has served his state and country - he understands the political and social climate of Vermont and the fiscal issues we are facing. If the dems are not clear sighted enough to support him, I hope he runs as an independant!
I for one vote TOM SALMON for Governor!
The Democrats have shown Salmon the door.
"The Democrats have shown Salmon the door."

Yeah, because he's not a partisan jerk.
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