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Parade season for politicians - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Parade season for politicians

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BURLINGTON, Vt. - Along with all the Memorial Day events come the waving, baby-kissing politicians seeking re-election.

Modern campaigns thrive on the Internet super highway, but politicians from both sides of the aisle say there's still plenty to be gained by taking their message to village streets.
     
Candidates for state-wide office paraded through Memorial Day celebrations across Vermont this long-weekend. "It's just a great place to kick off the campaign and be seen," said Rep. Tim Jerman (D-Essex Jct.)

Along with serving in the legislature, Rep. Jerman is the Vice Chairman for the state Democratic Party. He took part in his local parade Saturday and says he's surprised to be the only Democratic candidate for the legislature with official paperwork in by Friday. "I think you're going to see a scurry of activity as people start to announce and decide that they really want to do this," he said.

Jerman says he also expects significant turnover in the House this cycle as many senior members consider sitting out this election, though he downplays the need for candidates to already be campaigning.  "I think for candidates who are new candidates, bigger offices -- I do think it's an important milestone," he said.

Republican Rep. Kurt Wright of Burlington spent the weekend going door to door with a new candidate. He says he's disappointed that the governor's eventual Republican challenger this November isn't keeping pace on the campaign trail -- given what he calls the governor's perceived weaknesses in his bid on health care's roll-out and climbing property tax rates. "It's very concerning to me as a Republican that no one has stepped up to the plate at this point," he said.

The Governor himself is not expected to enter the fray until Labor Day, which would give his competition most of barbecue season to catch up.

The Republican Party Chairman tells WCAX-TV he doesn't share Wright's concerns, adding that a short campaign can be more effective than a long one.  Right now Scott Milne and Randy Brock both say they are considering running for governor on the GOP ticket.  
The Progressive Party is not expected to nominate a candidate.
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