Race for treasurer drawing most outside interest as liberal super PAC hits airwaves for Pearce

Vermont’s liberal super PAC is doing what it can to counteract Vermont’s conservative super PAC with a $15,000 ad blitz aimed at promoting the candidacy of incumbent Treasurer Beth Pearce.

With such relatively little drama across the rest of the statewide ticket, the race for treasurer has become the marquis match up of 2012, thanks in part to the huge sums of money being poured into the race by GOP benefactor Lenore Broughton.

The Burlington resident is the lone underwriter of Vermonters First, the Republican super PAC that has spent more than $200,000 on television and web ads and statewide mailings, many of them touting the candidacy of Republican candidate for treasurer Wendy Wilton.

Now comes Vermont Priorities, the liberal foil to Vermonters First, with an ad buy of its own. According to Todd Bailey, a consultant for the group, Pearce will be featured in a 30-second spot set to hit network and cable airwaves tomorrow.

Vermont Priorities’ newfound largesse comes courtesy of some deep-pocketed political moderates, including David Coates, longtime member of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, high-powered Green Mountain Power consultant Steve Terry, “Democrat for Dubie” Mary Alice MacKenzie, and (soon-to-be-former) Senate Majority Leader Bill Carris.

Incidentally, be sure to check out Seven Days columnist Paul Heintz’s breakdown of what could be a brewing mutiny in the Vermont Senate (http://www.7dvt.com/2012pro-tem-or-con_)

The ad gives Pearce credit for Vermont’s highest-in-New-England bond rating, and for fast tracking aid to towns struck by Irene. It also mentions endorsements from Gov. Peter Shumlin, who appointed her to the post in January of 2011, and her predecessor, Jeb Spaulding.

Bailey said the group has raised a total of $25,000, and will buy up more air time to run the same ad, if it can raise more money between now and Nov. 6.

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