Dunne explores run for governor

09/24/09 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel
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AP File Photo/Toby Talbot
(Host) There's a good chance that the Democratic field of gubernatorial candidates will expand in the coming weeks.

Former state senator Matt Dunne says he's seriously considering entering the race because, he says, Vermont has an opportunity to adopt an innovative agenda.

VPR's Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) In 2008, the Democrats didn't have an announced gubernatorial candidate until 7 months before the election. Now, 14 months before the 2010 election, the Party has 3 formal candidates in the race and two more are likely to jump in.

Former state senator Matt Dunne falls into the "likely to run" category. He ran a strong campaign for Lt. Governor in 2006 - losing to incumbent Republican Brian Dubie by roughly 6%.

Dunne currently works for Google as a community and government affairs director and he says he sees 2010 as a watershed year for Vermont politics:

(Dunne) "This is a unique opportunity in Vermont and I think it's one that only comes along every couple of decades - which is an interest in moving the state forward to be able to take on new challenges and to move into a new era. The idea of being able to do that as the governor of the state of Vermont is really exciting and that's the reason that I'm looking at this race."

(Kinzel) Dunne says he plans to make up his mind in about a month.  He says he wants to be certain that he's correctly reading the political pulse of the state:

(Dunne) "I'm reaching out to Vermonters all over the state just to make sure that the energy that I sense is real. And that's an energy for a new kind of grass roots campaign and it's an energy for a new way of governing the state of Vermont."

(Kinzel) The 3 announced Democratic gubernatorial candidates are Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, and state senators Doug Racine and Susan Bartlett.  In addition, Senate President Peter Shumlin says it's likely that he'll run too.

Dunne says he doesn't view the crowded field as a liability:

(Dunne) "Not at all, what I'm hearing from Vermonters is that they want to hear what candidates believe is the vision for this state. How we're going to move forward to create new economy jobs, how we're going to move towards energy independence and how we're going to contain health care costs and I think that in a race with many individuals in we'll get a variety of visions for the future and that will give Vermonters a great choice."

(Kinzel) On the Republican side, Lt. Governor Dubie is expected to announce next week if he'll run for governor. If Dubie runs, it's unlikely that any major GOP candidate will challenge him in a primary.

For VPR News I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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