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Shumlin endorses candidate for Lt. Gov. race - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin endorses candidate for Lt. Gov. race

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Despite raising money and making many public appearances, Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, says he won't begin campaigning for himself until Labor Day, but on Monday he dove into the race for Lieutenant Governor.

"I think Dean Corren has it right on Health Care," said Shumlin.

Shumlin endorsed a Progressive candidate for the second highest office in the Green Mountain State while wrapping up a press conference.

He called on the state Democrats to do the same.

The candidate, former State Representative Dean Corren, will face incumbent Republican Lt. Governor Phil Scott.

"Phil and I work very well together and we're good friends on top of it. Phil and I understand working together in a partnership is good for Vermont and all. We also understand we're from different parties and therefore occasionally support people that aren't each other," said Shumlin.

"I can't say I'm that surprised, but it's early and it's very welcome," said Corren.

Corren calls himself a Progressive first but adds that he's happy to receive support from all sides. Pushing for single-payer would be his top-priority, but also says he wouldn't shy away from disagreement with Governor Shumlin.

He cites recent cuts in tax breaks for the poor as one example.

"I've got support on the Democrat's side as well," said Scott.

Scott says he has support from many moderate Democrats, and says he wouldn't have been elected previously without it. He also expressed surprise by the timing of Monday's news, but says he did not expect an endorsement from Governor Shumlin.

"I wouldn't mind waiting until Labor Day as well, but this may change things a little bit, and might have to start a little bit sooner," said Scott.

Differing stances on health care and economic issues will provide for plenty of debate, as will campaign financing.

Corren secured $200,000 in tax-payer funds for his campaign by raising $17,000 in increments smaller than 50.

Scott has never raised more than $180,000. Both men think voters will favor their funding strategies.

Corren says public financing allows for more public trust in a candidate. The Lt. Governor says while he may rely on a relatively small amount of big donors, many who can't afford to give money, donate time on his campaign.

The Vermont Democratic Party will vote later this summer regarding whether to endorse a candidate.

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