Minter resigning from VTrans, announces bid for governor

 

This story was updated at 10:40 a.m.

MONTPELIER — Agency of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter is resigning from her post in the Shumlin administration and running for governor.

Minter’s resignation, which will take effect at the end of the day Friday, was announced by the office of Gov. Peter Shumlin and Minter Thursday morning after Minter informed agency employees. Her resignation is required in order to seek a political office in Vermont state government.

“Next month I will formally announce my candidacy for Governor of Vermont. This decision is motivated by what I have seen Vermonters accomplish when we come together. I am confident that by working together we can make our state a place where our economy can grow and every family can thrive,” the 54-year-old Minter said in a statement.

Sue Minter

Sue Minter

Minter, a Democrat, has been mulling a run for governor since Shumlin announced in June that he would not be seeking a fourth, two-year term. If elected she would be just the second woman to serve as governor in Vermont, following former Democratic Gov. Madeleine Kunin who served from 1985 to 1991.

She joins a Democratic Party primary that already includes House Speaker Shap Smith and Matt Dunne, a Google executive and former state senator.

Minter has served as the Agency of Transportation secretary since January. She previously served as the agency’s deputy secretary between 2011 and 2014, with a stint as the state’s chief recover officer following Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, during that time.

“Leading the Agency of Transportation over the past five years has been the greatest highlight of my career, and I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve our state in this capacity,” Minter wrote to Shumlin in her resignation letter.

She also served for six years in the Vermont House representing Waterbury, Duxbury, Huntington and Buel’s Gore.

Shumlin praised Minter’s service Thursday in a statement. His spokesman Scott Coriell said the governor will remain neutral through the Democratic Primary.

“For four years, Sue Minter has been working hard to keep Vermonters moving forward,” Shumlin said in a statement. “Whether it was overseeing recovery efforts following Irene, steadily improving Vermont’s transportation infrastructure, or managing one of the largest agencies in state government, Sue has been an invaluable asset to the state of Vermont. She is smart, driven, and an incredibly talented leader. I wish her all the best.”

Chris Cole, currently the deputy secretary at the Agency of Transportation, has been appointed by Shumlin to replace Minter as secretary.

“While we’re sad to lose Sue, we could not have found someone more ready to step in and continue the good work being done at VTrans,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Chris has been a key leader at VTrans since 2011, and we’re lucky to have someone with his experience stepping into the top job.”

Two Republicans have also entered the race to succeed Shumlin. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman will square off in a Republican primary.

In her email announcement, Minter hinted at a candidacy focused on the economy.

“As I’ve traveled throughout the state, I’ve met many Vermonters who are struggling to get by. As a mom, a taxpayer, and an active community leader, I understand the economic anxiety that so many of my neighbors feel. But I also believe that what separates us from the rest of the country is a hope and optimism that comes from our spirit of independence and our history of confronting challenges head on,” she wrote. “I am running for Governor to keep working for a better future: by growing our economy, supporting working families and preserving our environment for the next generation. I look forward to conversations with Vermonters about our vision for Vermont’s future.”

Minter, a Harvard graduate and married mother of two children, lives in Waterbury.

Read Minter’s letter of resignation below:

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