Shumlin, Racine, Markowitz Campaign Together
08/31/10 7:34AM By Ross Sneyd  Download MP3
(Host) Votes from last week's primary election will be officially certified at the secretary of state's office later this morning.
But the results are already being challenged in court. Doug Racine filed legal papers yesterday asking for a recount of the Democratic race for governor.
As VPR's Ross Sneyd reports, that hasn't stopped the Democrats from campaigning. And campaigning together.(Sneyd) For anyone who followed the long campaign for the Democratic nomination, the sight couldn't have been more jarring.
At a news conference in Burlington, Peter Shumlin, Doug Racine and Deb Markowitz stood shoulder to shoulder to take on Republican Brian Dubie.
(Shumlin) "Let me first be clear: It's the five of us working together. And Susan and Matt would be here if they could be."
(Sneyd) Shumlin is the apparent Democratic nominee, a winner by just 197 votes.
But Racine asked for the court-supervised recount of all the ballots.
They say it might appear awkward to an outside observer. But they characterize it as nothing unusual.
(Racine) "Peter appears to be the winner. He'll be certified the nominee. The law allows for a recount. And a lot of folks want to know for sure. But in the meantime, I'm encouraging Peter to campaign actively. I am going to participate in this campaign as it unfolds."
(Sneyd) Racine says he'll attend fund-raisers and will encourage people to write checks to the Shumlin campaign.
(Racine) "And if this thing gets turned upside down when the recount is done, then it will just turn around and we'll continue on a campaign. But what we're trying to do today is to point out that we have a lot of similiarities. There are a lot of things that we agree on."
(Sneyd) The campaigns are working hard to persuade voters that they're sincere. At the Burlington news conference, they all arrived at the same time and walked down a long hallway together.
They've released statements jointly. Their campaign managers are coordinating events.
Shumlin says they mean it.
(Shumlin) "We're not playing pretend. We really like each other. We believe in each other's policy. We believe in each other's point of view. We believe that any one of the five us would make an extraordinary governor. And we're going to work tirelessly for whoever wins the nomination to beat Brian Dubie and put Vermonters back to work."
(Sneyd) No one can remember anything quite like this.
This awkward relationship may last for a while. The recount is overseen by Superior Courts.
Markowitz says once town clerks deliver their ballots to county courthouses, optical scanners will be used for towns that used the machines in the original election. The rest will be counted by hand.
And she says it's possible - with holidays and four-day work weeks in the court system - that the counting might not be done until September 16th.
For VPR News, I'm Ross Sneyd.