Ten seek to advance in Lt. Gov. race

MIDDLEBURY — Ten candidates are running for lieutenant governor this year. The following is a brief introduction to the names you will see on ballots in the Aug. 11 Primary Election. 

Information was culled from the candidates’ websites, and/or other online media sources.

Candidates are profiled here in alphabetical order. Since Vermonters can vote in only one party’s Primary, we separated the candidates by party.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Tim Ashe, Burlington Democrat. Ashe reached out to the Independent for a sit-down interview, and a story about his candidacy can be found at addisonindependent.com/news/senate-leader-vies-lieutenant-governor-job.

Website: timashe.com.

Molly Gray, Newbury Democrat.

Gray attended the University of Vermont on an athletic scholarship, where she competed as a Division I cross-country skier. After college, she helped elect Rep. Peter Welch to Congress and moved to Washington to serve as a Congressional aide. She spent three years with the International Committee of the Red Cross, leading humanitarian field missions to Haiti, Eastern Europe and multiple African nations. Gray now serves Vermont as an Assistant Attorney General and teaches night classes at Vermont Law School.

Campaign quote: “I am running for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont because now, more than ever, we need leaders in statewide office who listen to Vermonters, who understand their challenges, and who know how to invest in our future. As we face an unprecedented economic, health, and humanitarian crisis, and justifiable social unrest, we must elect leaders who share Vermont’s values of hard work, resilience, innovation and care for our neighbors. We must elect leaders who will collaborate with our communities and statewide officials to address the challenges we face and build a bright future for Vermont.”

Website: mollyforvermont.com.

Campaign priorities include “ending mass incarceration and transforming Vermont’s criminal justice system,” investing in childcare and education, deploying broadband to every home in Vermont, universal paid family and medical Leave, and investing in green jobs.

Debbie Ingram, Williston Democrat. Ingram is a minister and has spent the past four years as a state senator serving Chittenden County. She’s been a development coordinator for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and executive director of Vermont Interfaith Action, a community organizing coalition. She’s served on the Williston Planning Commission and selectboard.

Prior to arriving in Vermont, Ingram worked in Los Angeles in the film and television industry; she was part of the team that brought the Emmy award-winning series “The Wonder Years” to the air. She went on to earn a Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. She’s affiliated with the United Church of Christ and has preached before numerous congregations, including in Richmond, Hinesburg, Morrisville and Brattleboro.

Campaign quote: “My greatest strengths are in bringing together people of different backgrounds and views, and the Lieutenant Governor’s office is the perfect platform to reach out to Vermonters, to listen to them, and to help them heal after the challenges of these times.”

Website: ingramvt.com.

Campaign priorities include rebuilding a strong economy, advancing social justice, “bringing people together,” “boldly addressing climate change,” and advocating for more affordable housing.

Brenda Siegel, Newfane Democrat. She’s a small-business owner, and founder and director of the Southern Vermont Dance Festival. Siegel is also active with the Raise the Wage coalition and member leader at Rights and Democracy.

Campaign quote: “Vermont needs leaders who prioritize taking bold climate action, building a bottom-up economy, putting real resources into healing the opioid epidemic, and supporting and strengthening our education system. Inspired by her career and experience facing adversity, Brenda is ready to bring vision, leadership, and courage to benefit our families, the economy, and the future for our children.”

Website: brendaforvermont.com

Campaign priorities include prioritizing renewable energy, transforming the state’s transportation system, introducing comprehensive weatherization initiatives, building an economy from the “bottom up,” and looking for “a more equitable way to fund education.”

 

PROGRESSIVE PARTY

Cris Ericson,  Chester Progressive 

Campaign quote: “How are we going to pay for healthcare for everyone who happens to be in the U.S. and for free college education for all of our citizens? It doesn’t matter how someone got into the U.S.; they need to be healthy. Because if they’re not healthy, their diseases could spread to us. So we need healthcare for everyone. And we need free college education, because we need to fix our economy, and we’re only going to fix our economy with free college education to get people out there and get them into new jobs.”

Ericson proposes to pay for the college tuitions and universal healthcare through a redirection of tax dollars that are currently going to support design, research and development of new prescription drugs and weapons.

Website: crisericson.wordpress.com. She’s posted several YouTube videos outlining her positions.

 

REPUBLICAN PARTY

Dana Colson Jr., Tunbridge Republican. He was raised on small dairy farms and now owns a business, North Country Welding Supply LLC in Tunbridge.

Campaign quote: “I will fight for lower taxes, common sense regulations not over regulation. Vermont is in crisis. Businesses and native Vermonters are fleeing. We can no longer shoulder the burden of big government and over regulation. We must live within our means at every level of government.”

Website: Colson4ltgov.com.

Colson’s family was thrust in the limelight due to tragedy on Jan. 11, 2018. On that day his own child, Austin, went missing and his remains were found four months later in a Norwich barn.

“Throughout this tragedy I remained strong and focused on justice for Austin,” Colson writes on his website. “Unfortunately, I learned why Vermont’s criminal justice system needs reforms. The victims should have more rights than the criminals. This and other issues have inspired me to run for Lt. Governor. We can do better.”

Campaign priorities include “cutting taxes and regulations that hurt small businesses and farms,” expanding cell phone and internet service, fixing roads and bridges, supporting renewable energy project “when properly sited,” advocating for school choice and the repeal of Act 46, introducing more choice in the state’s health insurance market, and upholding the Second Amendment.

Meg Hansen, Manchester Republican. She was born and raised in central India, and aspired to become a neurosurgeon after her mother succumbed to brain cancer. But she ended up taking a different career path that led her into the eco-fashion industry and ultimately to attend Dartmouth College, where she met her future husband, Rick Hansen. She’s developed her own communications firm and has her own local television show called “Dialogues with Meg Hansen.”

Campaign quote: “As Lt. Governor, my number-one priority will be to represent and advocate for Vermonters whose interests have been unfairly overlooked for too long. I am committed to advancing collaborative, grassroots solutions that address the unique needs and concerns of our local communities. Our campaign theme, ‘Small Towns, Big Hearts,’ reflects who we are. We are a coalition of Vermonters from small towns, rural communities, farmers, truck drivers, middle class and blue-collar moms and dads, retirees, and Millennials that are hungry for forward-looking solutions to make Vermont an inclusive and pro-freedom state.”

Website: hansenforvermont.com.

Campaign priorities include cutting taxes across the board to foster a pro-growth and diverse business environment, demilitarizing the police and investing in safety and Community Services, ending “mass incarceration” while transforming Vermont’s criminal justice system, expanding school choice and tax credits for homeschooling, and standing up to activists who “agitate against us in the name of climate change. They wrongly pit our economic development against nature.” 

Jim Hogue, Calais Republican.

Records show he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.

He has no campaign website.

Hogue, in a July 22 Seven Days newspaper profile of lieutenant governor candidates, identified himself as an actor, historian and farmer. He told the newspaper he’s in favor of a state bank, and wants to get farmers to improve topsoil as part of a strategy to “capture and store stormwater to mitigate flooding, and to contribute to a working watershed.”

Scott Milne, Pomfret Republican. Milne is president of Milne Travel, an independent, family-owned travel management company. As the Republican nominee for governor in 2014, Scott nearly upset then-Gov. Peter Shumlin, coming within 2,500 votes of becoming the first candidate to defeat an incumbent Vermont governor since 1962.

Campaign quote: “As someone whose business was profoundly impacted by coronavirus, I know how difficult this time has been for so many Vermonters whose lives and livelihoods have been upended. Now more than ever, we need more leaders in Montpelier who understand the challenge of running a small business, and creating and protecting good jobs. Gov. Scott needs a partner, not an adversary, in the lieutenant governor’s office in order to move Vermont through our economic recovery and toward a more prosperous future.”

Website: scottmilne.org.

Campaign priorities include helping the state rebound from COVID-19, encouraging growth of Vermont businesses, creating new jobs.

Dewayne Tucker, Barre Republican. He’s worked as a consultant Engineer for the Vermont Agency of Transportation, overseeing the daily process of bridge and roadway construction.

Campaign quote: “I have decided to run for Lieutenant Governor, because it’s a step in the right direction for Vermont. There is nobody more concerned with the direction to where our current Legislature has driven us.”

Website: Facebook.com/dwaynetuckerforvtsenate.

Campaign priorities include promoting economic growth, opposing “unnecessary firearm regulation,” building mini hydro dams as a renewable energy source, controlling healthcare costs, and revitalizing agriculture while cleaning up Lake Champlain.

Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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