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Corren focuses campaign on single-payer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Corren focuses campaign on single-payer

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

He's an energy expert by trade, the head of technology for Verdant Power with more than 30 years of experience in energy research.

"My master's thesis had to do with getting us off fossil fuels," Dean Corren said.

The Middlebury graduate studied energy science at NYU. Corren says he again hears a calling to get back to work for Vermonters.

"I would be a conduit for working Vermonters who need to get a fairer, more efficient system," Corren said.

Corren was a state representative for eight years in the 1990s. Now, 14 years later, he wants to unseat Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont.

Corren has focused much of his campaign on the issue of single-payer health care, the details of which the Legislature will define starting in January.

"People know that we have to act, so I think you're going to see a broad tripartisan agreement moving forward," Corren said.

Corren is a Progressive, but he says his ability to build coalitions makes him the best person to shepherd the Senate through the tough session ahead. And he's got the endorsement of current Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.

"I think Dean Corren has it right on health care," the governor said in June.

Corren, 59, has also laid out plans to attract businesses to Vermont.

"Taxes are not their biggest problem. Their biggest problem is startup capital and getting really innovative, skilled people that we have in Vermont," he said. "One thing that people don't realize is that the startup rate in the nation has been declining since the 70s... In a place like Vermont, I think we can really buck that trend."

Corren says one issue that stands in the way of bucking that trend is property taxes.

"People are really fed up with the residential property tax going up," he said.

Corren says he's got a plan to stop those rising taxes.

"Increase the income sensitivity portion of property taxes to include more people, basically include everyone," he explained.

Current Lt. Gov. Phil Scott says he, not Corren, is the one most capable of building a coalition to tackle tough problems.

"I've made my whole political life about building coalitions and working across the aisle," Scott said.

A statement Corren disputes, saying unlike Scott, he'll be a more active leader because he has "the desire to use the lieutenant governor's office to do more work for Vermonters."

Corren says he's focused on explaining his own ideas on policies he hopes that Vermonters will vote for come November.

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