Race for Governor heats up

The Governor’s Race in Vermont is in full swing. Scudder Parker, the Democratic candidate vying for the seat against current Governor Jim Douglas, is a tested Vermonter and has held many posts throughout the state government. Parker is running against the incumbent Jim Douglas, a man who has credence and experience within the state’s Republican Party. However, while the candidates do agree on some of the issues, there are stark differences between them, which will help the voters decide whom they line up with.Parker and Douglas both address the environment in their campaigns. “Green technology and green building is not just good environmental policy, it makes good financial sense,” Parker said. Douglas’s record as the governor has shown a sense of economic stewardship that has transferred into all levels of the government, with plans such as his, “Comprehensive Environmental and Resource Management Plan for State Government.” This plan was designed to help Vermont effectively manage greenhouse gases and to be environmentally active and smart. “The character of Vermont is found in her natural beauty and in Vermonters’ unmatched appreciation for clean air, clean water and healthy communities,” Douglas said during the 2004 State of the State Address.”UVM should partner with Vermont’s innovative architects, builders, renewable energy businesses, and Vermont’s award-winning efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont, to “build green” at UVM and to promote green building throughout the State,” Parker said.At the University of Vermont, a student voter concern is tuition price and how that price affects that amount of students from Vermont that can attend UVM. UVM was recently in the Aug. 30 issue of USA today in an article that highlighted how out of state students are taking up the spots for in state students. “Vermont needs to increase its direct support for UVM so that more Vermonters can afford to attend,” Parker said.Governor Douglas also took a stance on UVM, saying, “higher education and life-long learning allow Vermonters to expand their opportunities, increase their marketability, command higher wages and gain personal fulfillment. “That is why funding for the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges, and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation must be a priority even in tight financial times,” Douglas said. Jim Douglas was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives straight out of Middlebury College. As a young politician, he directly represented the college student’s voice in the House of Representatives, rising to the position of Majority Leader. Scudder Parker took a little longer to reach the political realm. Parker says that, “The most important thing a college student can do for Vermont is to recognize how important she/he is to the future of this State.” This race looks like it will be an uphill battle for Parker after the Sept. 24 Research 2000 poll has Governor Douglas with a sizable 15 point lead over Parker. Governor Douglas has a sizable lead over his challenger. Indeed, this is a trend that Douglass has enjoyed throughout all of his elections, with his margins of victory increasing in every race. Douglas is entering this year’s gubernatorial race with a 60 percent approval rating, a formidable obstacle for the Parker campaign to overcome. The election is Tuesday Nov. 7, 2006.