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



Bernhardt won't run for Vt. gov

Mike Bernhardt, a former Republican state legislator from South Londonderry, will not run for governor as an independent as he had considered, he announced Friday.

Bernhardt said if he were to run, it might result in no candidate winning a majority in the November election, leaving the election to be decided by a Democratic-controlled Legislature, which he fears would choose a Democrat.

"his party has demonstrated petulance for spending and a lack of fiscal restraint," Bernhardt said in a statement. "The only break to that was provided by a governor of the opposite party. ... The voters of Vermont must elect a governor who can offer our citizens the promise of an actual balance of power."

Bernhardt said he supports Republican candidate Brian Dubie. Last fall, Bernhardt said he didn't think any of the candidates would sufficiently address the states fiscal problems, but he said Friday he has since come to believe Dubie will do that.

Five Democrats _ Sen. Susan Bartlett of Hyde Park, former Sen. Matt Dunne of Hartland, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz of Montpelier, Sen. Doug Racine of Richmond and Sen. Peter Shumlin of Putney _ are facing off in that party's primary.

- Terri Hallenbeck

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