November Election Preview

From the legalization of marijuana to issues concerning renewable energy and healthcare, candidates are campaigning to serve and win over Vermonters. Whether they are running for governor, lieutenant governor, the U.S. Senate, or the House of Representatives on Nov. 7, members of the Democratic, Republican, Liberty Union, Green, and Independent Parties are facing-off.Republican Jim Douglas is the incumbent governor, and has already held the position for two terms. Douglas served as state treasurer, secretary of state, and a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, both as the assistant majority leader and majority leader. Douglas’s main opponent is Democratic nominee Scudder Parker, who addresses subjects such as agriculture, economic development, energy, the environment, and the War in Iraq. Bob Skold, the Vermont Liberty Union Party candidate, is pictured on his website standing nude with a promotional sign reading, “nothing to hide.” He describes his party as “a nonviolent, socialist party” who “believe in a government that provides for the security, health, and survival of the people.” Cris Ericson, a female candidate running as an Independent for governor and U.S. Senate, (since a politician can legally hold a state and federal office simultaneously), is well know for her desire to legalize marijuana. Supporters of Ercicson may be familiar with her catchy claim, “a friend with weed is a friend in need of a pardon.” In the lieutenant governor race, Brian Dubie, the Republican incumbent, is looking to keep his position for a third term against Democrat Matt Dunne and Vermont Liberty Union Party member, Mary Alice Herbert. Dubie, a UVM alum and member of Air Force Reserves, was recently deployed to Iraq. Candidate Matt Dunne is in his second term in the state Senate. On his website, he addresses issues concerning economic development, the environment, education, and healthcare.Herbert, The Liberty Union candidate, most recently appeared in the 2004 U.S. vice presidency election as a member of the Socialist Party. Herbert is a retired public school teacher and lives in the town of Putney, Vermont. In the national races, a position in the U.S. Senate is vacant as incumbent Jim Jeffords opted to retire instead of going for a fourth term. . The race is half occupied by Independent candidates, including Bernie Sanders, a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been re-elected to the House seven times, which is the longest length of time an Independent has held the position in history, stated his website. Other Independents include afore mentioned Cris Ericson and Steve Moyer. Out of the four office positions, the Senate race is the only one with a Green Party member running. Candidate Craig Hill, who has released a video about September 11, entitled “Treason, Inc.”, has pledged to “direct the public’s attention from the lies and the cover-up to the facts, the physics and the truth of the betrayal of America on 9/11,” stated his website. Peter Diamondstone, another Senate candidate, is running as a Liberty Union Party member. The only big party candidate for the Senate is Republican Rich Tarrant of Colchester. He is the co-founder of a Burlington based technology company specializing in healthcare called IDX Systems. Tarrant has also served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University of Vermont Health Center and a director of Fletcher Allen Healthcare. Finally, since incumbent House of Representatives member Sanders is running for Senate, there are four candidates running for his position.Democrat Peter Welch supports what he calls his “Six Pillars of Change.” The concept, developed by Welch, involves issues of economic security, national security, Iraq, energy independence, Vermont jobs, and fiscal responsibility in the national government. Welch has previously served in the State Senate and was elected Senate leader – the position that he currently holds. Republican nominee, Martha Rainville, was elected to the Vermont National Guard as state adjutant general, a position, according to her website, never held by a woman in National Guard history. “I want to serve in Congress because I will be a powerful advocate on the issues important to Vermont and America,” Rainville states on her website. The two other House candidates include Liberty Union Party member Jane Newton and Independent Keith Stern. Newton is a retired registered nurse and has previously run for lieutenant governor and the U.S. House of Representatives. Stern’s political campaign is focused on debt reduction, shrinking the size of the government, tax reform, energy, and government spending. To learn more about any of these candidates, information is available online through their individual campaign websites. Check out next week’s Cynic for more Election Coverage.