Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Is Finally Settled

09/10/10 5:50PM By Ross Sneyd
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AP Photo/Toby Talbot
(Host) Vermont's Democratic gubernatorial primary has finally ended with Peter Shumlin as the winner.

The court-supervised recount of the primary election was wrapped up this morning and showed Shumlin with a 203-vote margin over Doug Racine.

As VPR's Ross Sneyd reports, Shumlin says he's eager to start the general election campaign.

(Sneyd) Shumlin says he's ready to debate Brian Dubie at any venue that will host them.

(Shumlin) "Brian has been so far an invisible candidate. He now has an opponent. And we have a responsibility to debate everywhere as often as possible and I'm going to be encouraging him to have more debates than he's proposed."

(Sneyd) Dubie previously challenged whichever Democrat won to a minimum of 12 debates.

Shumlin says that's fine by him, and already plans a Monday morning appearance with Dubie on a Burlington commercial radio station.

Already, the basic outlines of the Democrats' message is taking shape for the fall campaign.

Shumlin will paint Dubie as outside Vermont's political mainstream.

(Shumlin) "Brian Dubie is in our view too conservative for Vermont socially and doesn't have the experience or the vision to put Vermont back to work and make the bold changes that are necessary to get that done."

(Sneyd) Dubie opposes abortion, for example, but Shumlin supports a woman's right to choose. They also come down on opposite sides of whether same-sex marriage should have been legalized.

Shumlin was interrupted by his own cell phone. He says it was Susan Bartlett, one of the other four Democratic candidates in the primary.

Shumlin says he looks forward to working with those other candidates in the upcoming campaign - and possibly beyond.

(Shumlin) "All four of them would be extraordinary members of the next government, should we win. They all have great talents and I intend to include any of them that wish to be included should I be elected the next governor of the state of Vermont."

(Sneyd) Shumlin praised each of his opponents by name and by the particular set of skills he says they represent.

That included Doug Racine, the Chittenden County senator who came in second.

Racine himself, earlier in the day, pledged his support to Shumlin.

(Racine) "He ran a great campaign. It was interesting race with a five way primary but he's emerged as the winner. That was the choice of the voters, we've confirmed it, there's no question about it at this point. So it's on to November for Senator Shumlin."

(Sneyd) Shumlin has invited the other Democrats to a news conference next week to help him lay out his agenda. And then he plans a victory rally - almost three weeks after the election.

For VPR News, I'm Ross Sneyd.

(Host ) VPR will host a gubernatorial debate next Wednesday. You can record a question for the candidates by calling 1-800-258-1619. Or you can email it to Vermont Edition.

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democratic_primary peter_shumlin politics elections
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