Matt Dunne

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Dems, GOP present unified parties as general election begins

In the foreground, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter hugs House Speaker Shap Smith, who came up short in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. In the background, Sen. David Zuckerman, the nominee for lieutenant governor, hugs Matt Dunne, who was defeated by Minter. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

BURLINGTON — After lengthy primary campaigns, both the Vermont Democratic Party and the Vermont Republican Party gathered Wednesday morning to rally their troops and present a unified front for the general election. Democrats gathered at Burlington’s Main Street Landing Wednesday morning where the winners and losers in the primaries for governor and lieutenant governor spent time exchange hugs and well wishes. Matt Dunne, who lost to Sue Minter in the gubernatorial primary Tuesday by a wide margin, provided a gracious introduction for Minter after his campaign manager Nick Charyk lashed out at her last week. Charyk accused her of being part of the establishment trying to undermine Dunne for his progressive platform, offered gracious words to his former rival Wednesday

But that seemed to be forgotten Wednesday as Dunne offered his endorsement for the general election. “It wouldn’t be OK if we just wanted any Democrat to win. Continue Reading →

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Minter easily tops Dunne

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter waves to commuters with a group of supporters in Waterbury on Tuesday morning. (Times Argus/Jeb Wallace Brodeur)

MONTPELIER — Sue Minter pulled out a comfortable victory over Matt Dunne in what was thought to be a hotly contested race for the Vermont Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, after a frenzied final week of outside spending and missteps by Dunne. Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation, has about 50 percent of the vote with 268 of 275 voting districts reporting, a 13-point margin over Dunne, a former Google executive and Windsor County state senator. Peter Galbraith, a former diplomat and Windham County state senator, lagged far behind in third with nearly 10 percent of the vote. The Associated Press called the race for Minter around 9:45 p.m. Dunne called Minter to concede soon after. “We did this,” Minter told supporters Tuesday night. Continue Reading →

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Outside spending ramps up as primary approaches

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MONTPELIER — Outside spending in the gubernatorial races is exploding as the campaigns churn toward the primary on Aug. 9, according to public filings. Reid Hoffman, the Silicon Valley billionaire who co-founded LinkedIn, has ponied up $220,000 for radio, television and online ads supporting Matt Dunne. Hoffman filed a mass media report with the Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday as required by state election law. According to the filing, first reported by Seven Days, Hoffman is spending $154,000 for television spots, $44,000 for radio spots and $22,000 for online advertising. Continue Reading →

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After wind kerfuffle, Dunne campaign pushes back against Minter, Shumlin

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne speaks at a news conference at his White River Junction campaign headquarters. (VPB/Neal Goswami)

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne sought to quash the furor over the wind siting policy he articulated Friday at a news conference Wednesday by lashing out at fellow candidate Sue Minter and outgoing Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin. Dunne, a former Google employee and Windsor County state senator, called for the news conference at his White River Junction campaign headquarters Wednesday morning. Dunne has been floundering since he released his policy position Friday, which called for communities to first approve wind projects by popular vote before they could proceed. The policy position caused an immediate backlash. Environmentalist Bill McKibben withdrew his endorsement of Dunne in favor of Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation. Continue Reading →

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Dunne, Minter spar over wind, airport contract at debate

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COLCHESTER — All five Democratic candidates running for governor took part in a televised Vermont PBS debate Tuesday night, but two frontrunners dominated the discussion as they traded barbs and thinly-veiled accusations of impropriety. Sue Minter, a former Agency of Transportation secretary, and Matt Dunne, a former Google employee and Windsor County state senator, waded quickly waded into a discussion on wind energy. The issue exploded into the campaign last Friday when Dunne released a policy position calling for local communities to first approve any wind projects before they are built.

The policy announcement has cost Dunne dearly. Renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben has withdrawn his endorsement of Dunne and is now backing Minter. And on Tuesday, Vermont Conservation Voters announced it, too, was backing Minter. Continue Reading →

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Dunne position on wind draws fire

Matt Dunne

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne is drawing strong criticism from environmental advocates and leaders after calling for local referendums over the siting of wind energy projects less than two weeks before the state’s Aug. 9 primary. On Friday, Dunne, a former Google employee and Windsor County state senator, distributed a press release detailing his stance on the siting of renewable energy projects. At the top of the three points listed Dunne stated that “wind projects should only take place with the approval of the towns where the projects are located.”

“As governor, I will ensure that no means no. Towns should be voting by Australian ballot, and if a town says no to a large industrial wind project I would use all the power of the Governor’s office to ensure that is the end of the project,” Dunne wrote. Continue Reading →

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Dean throws support behind Minter

Sue Minter

Former Gov. Howard Dean threw his support behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter Thursday, choosing the former Secretary of Transportation over her two primary rivals. Dean, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and 2004 candidate for president, announced his support for Minter as he attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. He said his support was the result of Minter proving “she can get the job done.”

“I am proud to support Sue Minter to serve as the next Governor of Vermont,” said Gov. Dean. “She is a strong leader and a true progressive who has the experience and dedication we need to keep moving Vermont forward.”

Dean is the third former governor to back Minter, following Madeleine Kunin and Phil Hoff. “I am thrilled to have the support of so many who have dedicated their lives to making progressive change in Vermont,” Minter said in a statement. Continue Reading →

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Story-Video-Podcast: Minter: Experience would guide service

Sue Minter
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Listen to Sue Minter discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — For Sue Minter, the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene — and the state’s successful recovery — is a template for the way she would lead the state. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate was the secretary of the Agency of Transportation in 2011 when the catastrophic storm pounded the state and the subsequent flooding devastated communities from Wilmington to Minter’s home in Waterbury. “We received 15 inches of rain, and overnight, 500 miles of road was gone, and it was our job to mobilize quickly and effectively,” Minter said. “It took an all-in approach with thousands of people involved, neighbor helping neighbor, and it’s really been a transformative experience for me, both in the emergency phase in the first few months, but then to have that responsibility to address 3,500 homeowners whose homes were damaged,” she continued. Minter points to her experience as the head of the Agency of Transportation, where she oversaw 1,300 employees and a $600 million budget, as both giving her the tools to make government work and proof she is ready to lead the state. Continue Reading →

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Minter ad focuses on guns, domestic violence

Sue Minter

MONTPELIER — A new television ad from Democratic gubernatorial candidate focuses on guns and domestic violence. Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation, released her third television ad Wednesday in her primary race against former Google executive and Windsor County state senator Matt Dunne and former diplomat and Windham County state senator Peter Galbraith. Titled, “Won’t Back Down,” Minter links gun deaths in Vermont to domestic violence. Citing the Vermont Domestic Violence Fatality Commission, Minter says that domestic violence causes “most” homicides in Vermont and “half of them involve guns.”

“The gun lobby doesn’t like that and I’m the candidate for governor who’s willing to talk about it. I won’t back down from this fight. Continue Reading →

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Candidates raise big bucks

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MONTPELIER — Candidates for Vermont’s top statewide offices have reported big fundraising hauls since March, led by Republican Bruce Lisman, a former Wall Street executive, who has contributed more than $1 million to his own campaign for governor. Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott reported Friday that he has raised $350,000 since the last reporting period on March 15. According to his campaign finance disclosure form filed with the secretary of state’s office Friday, Scott has spent about $250,000 in the past four months. Overall, Scott has raised about $860,000 and spent about $467,000. He has $370,000 cash on hand with less than a month to go before the Aug. Continue Reading →

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