EMILY’s List officially backs Minter

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter has been endorsed by EMILY’s List, an expected move that had been hinted at in recent weeks.

Sue Minter

Sue Minter

Minter, the former secretary of the Agency of Transportation, and the group announced the endorsement Monday morning with a pair of press releases.

“Sue Minter has the leadership experience and progressive values to move Vermont forward,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in a statement. “Throughout her career as a public servant, Sue has brought people together to get the toughest jobs done. In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Sue worked with communities and businesses to rebuild the state’s economy.”

EMILY’s List works to elect pro-choice Democratic women at the local, state and federal level. The group has more than 3 million members across the country and touts more than 800 electoral victories. Since being founded in 1985, EMILY’s List has raised more than $400 million to boost candidates its supports.

“I am proud to earn the endorsement of EMILY’s List in my campaign for Governor of Vermont. There is so much at stake in this election, too many Vermonters are struggling. As Governor I will work tirelessly to create more livable wage jobs, make higher education more affordable and create a clean energy economy. Together we will make Vermont work,” Minter said in her own statement.

Minter is facing former Windsor County Sen. Matt Dunne in a Democratic primary. Others, including former Windham County Sen. Peter Galbraith, former Wardsboro Rep. John Moran and House Speaker Shap Smith, of Morrisville, could still enter the race. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman are squaring off in their own primary.

EMILY’s List last endorsed a Vermont candidate in 2010, when it backed Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz, a former secretary of state, in a five-way Democratic primary for governor. Markowitz finished third behind Gov. Peter Shumlin and former Lt. Gov. Doug Racine.

Minter entered the race last September after resigning from her post in the Shumlin administration. Sarah McCall, then the executive director of Emerge Vermont, a group that works to elect Democratic women, was tapped as campaign manager. But Minter, at the urging of EMILY’s List, replaced McCall several weeks ago with Molly Ritner, a political operative with no Vermont ties but plenty of campaign experience around the country.

Schriock appeared on Vermont Public Radio last week and said EMILY’s List was working closely with the Minter campaign and intimated an endorsement would be forthcoming.

In her statement, Schriock said Minter would add to the small ranks of female Democratic governors.

“We know that women in executive leadership positions can make a tremendous positive impact, but today only three states have Democratic women serving as governors. This year Vermont has an opportunity to elect a tireless champion for women and families to the state’s highest office – and the EMILY’s List community of over three million members is excited to endorse Sue Minter’s strong campaign,” she said.

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