Prog. Candidates Split Views On Party Direction

08/19/10 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel
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(Host) The two candidates seeking the Progressive Party's nomination for Lt. Governor have different visions concerning the future direction of the Party.

As VPR's Bob Kinzel reports, the question is whether or not the Progressives should form alliances with liberal Democratic candidates.

(Kinzel) There's been a trend developing with some Progressive Party candidates in recent elections.

That trend is for the candidate to run in the Democratic primary and emerge as a candidate of both parties.

Tim Ashe used this approach to win a state senate seat in Chittenden County in 2008 and Anthony Pollina is hopeful that it will help him win a senate seat in Washington County this year.

Marjorie Power is seeking the Progressive nomination for Lt. Governor.   Speaking on VPR's Vermont Edition, Power said that if she wins the primary election, she'll consider stepping aside in the General Election:

(Power) "It is my desire to be Lt. Governor. However, I am rational enough to believe that it is unlikely and therefore I will reserve the right to review the situation after the primary and to make a decision as to what I feel is best for the state of Vermont."

(Kinzel) Power says the key is whether or not the winning Democratic candidate supports most of the key priorities of the Progressive Party:

(Power) "... And has a better chance of winning than I do myself ... Then it seems to me that it would be for the greater benefit of the state of Vermont for me to withdraw."

(Kinzel) The other candidate in the Progressive race for Lt. Governor is Boots Wardinski.  He thinks it's a mistake for the Progressives to join with liberal Democrats:

(Wardinski) "Many of the Progressives seem to have more of a kinship with the Democratic Party than they do with their own. Anthony Pollina is in the Democratic primary, Peter Clavelle did, two candidates for statewide office have said that they will step aside if there is a Democrat that they can support and some of the functionaries of the Progressive Party have already endorsed Doug Racine."

(Kinzel) And Wardinski says he's running to encourage the Progressive Party to return to its core principles:

(Wardinski) "I think that I would be the one person that would actually speak for alternatives, Socialists, more left wing policies."

(Kinzel) This race could be decided by a relatively low number of voters. Past contested Progressive primaries have generally drawn fewer than 2,500 voters.

For VPR News, I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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