Matt Dunne

Recent Posts

Gov candidates talk business

MONTPELIER — The four candidates for governor made their cases Wednesday that each of them would be the best person to support the manufacturing industry in Vermont. Republican candidates Bruce Lisman and Phil Scott — and Democrats Matt Dunne and Sue Minter — addressed taxes, education and refugees during the 95th annual meeting of the Associated Industries of Vermont, which represents the manufacturing industry in the state. Lisman, who is running on his extensive business experience — having managed more than 2,300 employees in the financial, insurance and electric utility sectors — discussed the issues he sees holding back manufacturing and, ultimately, the state economy. “I think we all see the same problems: a stagnant economy, declining school enrollment, rising property taxes, ballooning state budgets and a shrinking manufacturing base, among other challenges,” Lisman said. “This all fundamentally stems from Vermont’s lack of economic competitiveness.”

Lisman offered a number of proposals, such as streamlining the permit process for construction and and examining all legislation to determine the impact it would have on businesses and the cost of living for workers. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Gubernatorial candidates divided on expanding background checks for gun sales


ubernatorial candidates are divided over the need to strengthen the state’s gun control laws. Sue Minter, one of two Democratic candidates for governor, has come out strongly in favor of requiring universal background checks for all firearm sales in Vermont, regardless of the nature of the transaction. “I am committed to requiring universal background checks for gun sales – including those that occur at gun shows, flea markets, and private sales,” Minter wrote in a statement to her supporters one day after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., claimed the lives of 14 people. “Background checks are currently required for all gun sales at Vermont’s federally registered firearms dealers,” Minter’s statement continued. “The same standard should apply to all gun sales.”

In a subsequent interview, Minter rejected the argument that the state’s gun laws do not need to be changed because Vermont is already among the safest places to live in the United States. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Story + Video: Scott launches bid for governor

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott stands with his family after formally launching his campaign for governor in South Burlington on Dec. 1. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Highlighting his blue collar upbringing, Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott formally launched his campaign for governor Tuesday with a promise to rebuild the state’s economic foundation. Several hundred supporters joined Scott, 57, at the Sheraton Hotel Tuesday evening for his long-awaited campaign kickoff. Known for his nice-guy image and message of creating a more affordable Vermont, Scott delivered many familiar themes. He promised to “set a steady, more predictable and less political course.” He said some Vermonters feel “trapped” and “even victimized” by an economy that has left them behind. “We have to be willing to do things differently if we want different results,” Scott declared. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Smith drops out of gov race as wife battles cancer


MONTPELIER — Democratic House Speaker Shap Smith announced at a news conference Tuesday that he is dropping out of the race for governor as his wife battles cancer. Smith, 49, said his wife, who recently had surgery as part of her treatment, must now undergo additional treatment for breast cancer. He said he is choosing to suspend his campaign to spend more time with his family because it is “the right thing to do.”

“As of today I am suspending my campaign for governor. My wife Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this fall and she recently underwent surgery. We were very optimistic that that was the course of treatment that she would need when the surgery took place but the doctors have told us that more treatment is necessary to ensure a full recovery,” Smith told reporters and a crowd of supporters on the steps of the State House. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Dunne holds kick-off rally, calls for urgency and action

Matt Dunne holds a campaign kick-off event in Barre on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015. (Photo by Neal P. Goswami)

BARRE — Democrat Matt Dunne formally launched his campaign Monday, calling for preserving Vermont’s sense of community while building an economy that works for all Vermonters. The Google executive and former Windsor County senator delivered a 20-minute speech at Barre’s City Hall Park with his family behind him on the gazebo. The noon kick-off event that followed his emailed announcement last month drew a sparse crowd that included Essex Jct. Rep. Tim Jerman, the vice chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party, and White River Jct. Rep. Kevin Christie. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Phil Scott tops in name recognition, favorability

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott

MONTPELIER — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has the highest name recognition and favorability among Vermont voters so far in the race for governor, according to a new poll from the Castleton Polling Institute. According to the poll results, released Monday morning, Scott, who is in his third term as lieutenant governor, is known by 77 percent of Vermonters. Scott Milne, who is not a candidate for governor at this point but was the GOP nominee in 2014, is known by 73 percent of Vermonters. “Obviously, it’s good news for me, but it also highlights the fact that we have our work cut out for us to reach the 23 percent that have no idea who I am,” Scott said. “I have never taken for granted name recognition in the state, and I think that many do. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Minter resigning from VTrans, announces bid for governor

Sue Minter


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. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Smith looking to fellow lawmakers for support

Shap Smith

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne has tallied impressive fundraising numbers early on in the Democratic primary, but House Speaker Shap Smith is touting an extensive list of legislative endorsements his campaign believes will provide him with a boost. Dunne, a former state senator from Windsor County, says he has raised $200,000 for his campaign already. Dunne surprised political observers in July when he announced he had raised about $130,000 by the required July 15 reporting deadline — before he had even announced his bid. Dunne has also locked up the support of well-known Democratic fundraisers Bill and Jane Stetson. Smith has declined to say how much he’s raised since jumping into the race last month, but said he will have the necessary resources to run a successful campaign. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Phil Scott to announce bid for governor Tuesday

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott

MONTPELIER — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott will become the fourth candidate to jump into the gubernatorial race on Tuesday. Scott, 57, told the Vermont Press Bureau Monday morning that he is planning a “soft announcement” that is “favorable” to a run for governor. The Vermont Press Bureau was the first to report Scott’s pending announcement on Twitter. .@PhilScottVT says “soft announcement” coming tomorrow afternoon that will be “favorable” toward a run for gov #vtpoli
— Neal P. Goswami (@nealgoswami) September 7, 2015
Scott, in his third term as lieutenant governor, has been publicly weighing a run for the top job after Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin announced in June that he would not seek a fourth, two-year term. Scott, who lives in Berlin, served 10 years in the state Senate from Washington County before being elected lieutenant governor. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Dunne formally enters race for governor

Matt Dunne

MONTPELIER — Matt Dunne, a Google executive and former Windsor County state senator announced via email Wednesday morning what was widely known — he is running for governor. “With your clear support — I am running for governor,” Dunne wrote in his email, which noted a kick-off event will be held later this fall. Dunne’s formal entrance Wednesday into the gubernatorial race sets up a Democratic primary with House Speaker Shap Smith, who announced his own bid with a kick-off announcement in Morrisville last month. Agency of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter is also considering a run as a Democrat. “I do not take this decision lightly. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,