Burlington Dems ready for a 2nd try - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington Dems ready for a 2nd try

Burlington, Vermont - December 9, 2011

Handy's Lunch in Burlington added two extra items to the breakfast menu today -- Democratic Mayoral Candidates.

It's the most important meal of the day. Democratic Mayoral Candidates Tim Ashe and Miro Weinberger shared breakfast with Burlington Voters Friday morning.
"I had a short stack of pancakes and some hash browns," Weinberger said.

Ditto for his Democratic rival. "Plenty of calories which is exactly what the doctor ordered," Ashe said.

For the candidates, what happens at Friday mornings breakfast could have a huge impact on Sunday. "If you really want to get to know someone, there's nothing better than sitting down and asking someone questions," said Alison Prine, an Ashe supporter.

It's the final push before the Democratic caucus takes place Sunday. The two candidates tied the primary caucus November thirteenth -- each received 540 votes a piece. Sunday's winner will face Kurt Wright, the Republican candidate in the March election.

Both candidates say there's power in the counter tops at Handy's. They say this venue allows them to have casual conversations with people who might not attend formal campaign events.

"There are still many people out there that have not directly interacted with any of the candidates or just one and not the other," Ashe said.  

"Having a one on one conversation with a candidate, in my experience, is often decisive in which way they go. But there's some hard work left to do in the next 54 hours," Weinberger said.

A few key issues have been integral to this mayoral race. The city's pension fund, and Burlington Telecom, which was cited as the reason Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss didn't run for re-election.

"We're trying to free the taxpayer from the 17 million dollar shortfall that it has right now and that's the primary concern," Ashe said.

"I've talked a fair amount about wanting to make sure we keep two cable companies in town, so if there is competition it keeps all of our rates lower," Weinberger said.

As it did in November, the field remains divided on the Democratic front. One thing is certain, whoever wins on Sunday will have a lot more on their plate heading into march.

The two candidates hosted a roundtable discussion hosted by the firefighters labor union Friday afternoon. Both will continue campaigning until Sunday.

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