His standout political moment isn't one he's most proud of. Many Vermonters will remember Jack McMullen for losing the Republican Senate primary in 1998 to high school dropout Fred Tuttle. The Harvard grad famously failed to correctly answer how many teats a cow has and quickly came off as out of touch. Now he's back to shake it off and enter a new race. This time for Vermont's attorney general.
"My approach to this office would be open-minded, nonideological and businesslike," McMullen said.
McMullen currently works with the Cambridge Meridian Group, a management consulting firm in Burlington. He ran for Senate one other time and lost in 2004 against Patrick Leahy. He has an MBA and a law degree from Harvard, where he also taught for several years. He says he's been trying to enter Vermont politics for quite some time. As an attorney, he thinks he'll find success in the AG's race.
"I have a business background, as well as a law background. That distinguishes me from the other Democrats running in the race," McMullen said.
He's also the only candidate who's not a member of the Vermont Bar Association, which means he couldn't argue cases if elected. He's currently pursuing acceptance into the association.
"That application process is lengthy, but I'm in the process of doing it," he said.
McMullen says his priority as AG would be cracking down on prescription drug abuse. He wants to collaborate with all 14 state's attorneys to implement a treatment-based approach for first-time offenders, hoping to minimize the number of inmates and the cost of incarceration. He's critical of both Democrats, Bill Sorrell and T.J. Donovan, for their handling of one issue he hopes to bring to the forefront of his fall campaign.
"Both of these gentlemen have something to answer for Burlington Telecom," McMullen said. "What's the technical term residents here feel? Outrage."
He says Sorrell sidestepped the issue and Donovan failed to take action on it. He says he disagrees with Sorrell's policies more than Donovan's and hopes to face Sorrell in the upcoming election, giving him an opportunity to make himself known for something more than a political flop.
When it comes to Vermont Yankee, McMullen says he would advise against any future appeals. He says he wouldn't feel comfortable recommending the state spend money on outside counsel, especially because in his opinion this case is nearly impossible to win.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>