The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor says she was fired when she told her employer she was running. Her boss blames the whole thing on the governor as a "self-serving political move."
Cassandra Gekas was recruited by Democrats at the last minute to get into the race for lieutenant governor. Gekas had been a health care lobbyist for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. She says she was summarily fired in keeping with VPIRG's policy of being a nonpartisan organization.
Executive director Paul Burns then sent an email to the VPIRG board informing them of Gekas' candidacy, which he called "absurd." Burns' email goes on to criticize Gekas for causing "great pain" to VPIRG and lays the blame for her candidacy on Gov. Peter Shumlin. Burns wrote, "I believe Cass was talked into this by the governor and others. He should be ashamed of himself." And "I hope he has a nice job waiting for her after she loses a race for which she is completely unprepared ..."
We asked Gov. Peter Shumlin to comment on the criticism at his weekly press conference. He declined. He did say that he did not encourage Gekas to run for lieutenant governor, but he supports the idea.
"Anything we can do to encourage young people to run for statewide office and to encourage women to run for statewide office is wise for Vermont's future," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.
Gekas will face Republican incumbent Phil Scott in the November election.
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