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YCQM: August 9, 2020

Published: Aug. 9, 2020 at 4:33 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:15 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - >> DARREN: GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, I’M DARREN PERRON. RIGHT NOW ON “YOU CAN QUOTE ME,” THE VERMONT PRIMARY IS JUST TWO DAYS AWAY. THIS MORNING WE’RE GOING TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE KEY RACES, WHO IS RUNNING, THEIR VISION FOR VERMONT AND HOW MUCH MONEY THEY RAISED IN THE RACE TO THE PRIMARY, PLUS WE’LL GET ANALYSIS FROM TWO POLITICAL EXPERTS. THAT’S LATER IN THE BROADCAST. FIRST, VERMONT HOSPITALS WANT MORE REVENUE AND BIGGER BUDGETS. >> HOSPITALS ARE BLEEDING MONEY AND COVID-19 OPENED THE WOUND EVEN MORE. NOW THREE ARE ASKING FOR RATE INCREASES TO HELP OFFSET SOME OF THE LOSSES. THE THREE UNDER THE U.V.M. NETWORK IS U.V.M. MEDICAL CENTER WHICH WANTS 8%. CENTRAL VERMONT MEDICAL CENTER WANTS 8.5%. AND PORTER HOSPITAL IS SEEKING A 5.7% RATE INCREASE. TO TALK ABOUT WHY AND THE HOSPITAL’S FUTURES I’M JOINED NOW BY JOHN BRUMSTED, C.E.O. AND PRESIDENT OF THE U.V.M. HEALTH NETWORK. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. >> JOHN: THANK YOU DARREN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES WITH VERMONTERS. >> DARREN: YOU BET. FIRST LET’S START WITH THE LATEST NUMBERS. WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LOSSES AT THE HOSPITALS NOW?

>> JOHN: BACK IN THE EARLY COVID-19 TIMES,

WE WERE PROJECTING JUST FOR VERMONT

HOSPITALS, $115 MILLION LOSS PLUS FOR

THIS YEAR.

BECAUSE OF TAKING ADVANTAGE OF EXTERNAL

SOURCES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, A

LOT OF COST CUTTING MEASURES, WE'VE BEEN

ABLE TO WHITTLE THAT DOWN SO THAT WE WILL

HAVE A LOSS BUT IT WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY

LESS.

>> DARREN: ANY IDEA ON A NUMBER?

>> JOHN: IT'S TOUGH TO PREDICT BECAUSE

WE HAVE A COUPLE MORE MONTHS TO GO IN

THE FISCAL YEAR BUT IT WILL BE IN THE

5 MILLION TO 10 MILLION RANGE.

>> DARREN: IT SOUNDS LIKE COVID WAS REALLY

THE STRAW BECAUSE YOU GAVE A LONG LIST

OF WHY HOSPITALS ARE IN THE RED.

EXPLAIN HOW WE GOT HERE.

>> JOHN: WELL, WE GOT HERE OVER A NUMBER

OF YEARS WITH EXPENSES GROWING, JUST YEAR

OVER YEAR RAPIDLY.

THOSE EXPENSES LARGELY ARE THE COST OF

STAFFING OUR HOSPITALS AND OUR CLINICS

AND PHARMACEUTICALS AND THOSE COSTS HAVE

BEEN GROWING FASTER THAN THE ALLOWABLE

REVENUE COMING INTO THE SYSTEM.

EVERYBODY KNOWS FROM THEIR CHECKBOOK AT

HOME IF YOUR EXPENSES ARE GREATER THAN

THE MONEY THAT IS COMING IN AND YOUR

PAYCHECK OR IN YOUR REVENUES, YEAR OVER

YEAR, EVENTUALLY IT WILL CATCH UP.

IT HAS CAUGHT UP WITH US AND OUR MARGINS,

OUR ABILITY TO INVEST BACK INTO OUR PEOPLE

AND PROGRAMS DETERIORATED TO THE LEVEL

THAT WE WERE LOSING MONEY BEFORE COVID

EVEN HIT.

>> DARREN: AND THEN COVID HIT.

THEN TELL US WHAT HAPPENED.

>> JOHN: COVID HIT AND THEN WE HAD TO

STOP ALL OUR NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND

THE REVENUES PLUMMETED EVEN FURTHER AND

THE EXPENSES HAD TO CONTINUE BECAUSE WE

NEED TO TAKE CARE OF FOLKS IF THEY NEEDED

US FOR COVID OR OTHER NECESSARY SERVICES.

SO WITHOUT REVENUES, OUR HOLE GOT DEEPER

AND DEEPER.

THAT'S WHERE YOU END UP POTENTIALLY

LOSING $115 MILLION IN A YEAR, IN AN

ORGANIZATION THAT USUALLY IS RUN VERY,

VERY TIGHTLY.

>> DARREN: SO U.V.M. HEALTH NETWORK ALONE,

THE LARGEST IN THE NETWORK.

WE SEEN CUTS AND MANY WERE FURLOUGHED.

WHAT DID THAT SAVE AND SHOULD EMPLOYEES

EXPECT MORE OF THAT AT U.V.M. OR

ELSEWHERE?

>> JOHN: WE SAVED LOTS OF EXPENSE BY

HAVING SENIOR EXECUTIVES TAKE PAY CUTS,

HALTING SOME RETIREMENT BENEFITS.

WHEN WE FURLOUGHED PEOPLE, WE WERE VERY

CAREFUL TO USE THOSE DOLLARS TO OFFSET

THE COST OF CONTINUING TO PROVIDE

BENEFITS AND SOME SALARY DOLLARS FOR

PEOPLE WHO WERE FURLOUGHED.

WE ALSO VERY EARLY ON IN THE PANDEMIC

PAID AN EXTRA WEEK'S PAY TO THOSE THAT

WERE MOST FINANCIALLY VULNERABLE, THOSE

WHO MADE UNDER $99,000 A YEAR.

>> DARREN: SO ANYMORE CUTS EXPECTED

THERE?

>> JOHN: WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A LOT

OF UNCERTAINTY IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

IT DEPENDS SOME ON WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE

PANDEMIC GOING FORWARD.

I WOULD SAY THAT WE'RE IN A TREMENDOUSLY

BETTER PLACE THAN WE WERE LAST MARCH WHEN

THIS CAME ON SO ABRUPTLY.

WE HAVE REALLY FIGURED OUT WAYS TO SAFELY

PROVIDE THAT CARE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER

IT'S SEMI ELECTIVE OR NOT.

SO, I AM NOT EXPECTING THAT WE WILL HAVE

TO TAKE THE DRAMATIC STEPS THAT WE HAVE

THIS YEAR, NEXT YEAR EVEN IF THERE IS

AN UP SURGE IN COVID, BUT AT THE END OF

THE DAY IT DEPENDS WHAT HAPPENS.

WE'RE AS PREPARED AS WE CAN BE FOR MORE

CASES AND EVEN MORE PREPARED THAN ANYBODY

ELSE IN THE COUNTRY RIGHT NOW.

>> DARREN: SO LET'S TALK ABOUT CBPH.

IT'S NOT PART OF THE RATE INCREASE REQUEST,

BUT CHANNEL 3 NEWS REPORTED HOW THE

HOSPITAL UNDER THE NETWORK IS WORKING

ON A REDESIGNED PLAN AND NURSES THERE

ARE SCARED.

THEY FEEL LIKE THEY WENT FROM A "HERO

TO A ZERO" DURING THE PANDEMIC.

ARE JOB CUTS COMING THERE?

>> JOHN: I'M VERY SORRY THAT SOMEBODY

THAT IS A VALUED EMPLOYEE -- OUR NURSES

ARE CLEARLY VALUED, WOULD FEEL THAT WAY.

WE DO HAVE FINANCIAL AND CLINICAL AND

OPERATIONAL REALITIES.

WE NEED TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR THAT

COMMUNITY.

WE'RE WORKING VERY HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT

WE CAN BE FINANCIALLY VIABLE IN ALL OF

OUR AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS, INCLUDING

CBPH.

THEY'RE SUBJECT TO THE SAME PROBLEMS WITH

EXPENSES GROWING YEAR OVER YEAR AND

NEEDING TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO BE ABLE

TO LIVE WITHIN THAT EXPENSE GROWTH.

>> DARREN: SO ARE JOB CUTS COMING?

>> JOHN: MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT

EVERYBODY WILL BE OFFERED A POSITION THAT

HAS A POSITION NOW.

THERE ARE SOME VACANT POSITIONS THAT WILL

GO AWAY.

THERE MAY BE SOME PEOPLE THAT DO NOT WANT

POSITIONS THAT ARE OFFERED WHO WILL SEEK

EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE.

>> DARREN: SO IS PATIENT CARE, THIS IS

THE BIG QUESTION, IS PATIENT CARE IN

JEOPARDY BECAUSE OF CUTS OR BECAUSE OF

THESE HUGE DEFICITS?

>> JOHN: THE BUDGETS THAT WE HAVE PUT

TOGETHER AND THE WAY WE HAVE MANAGED OUR

ORGANIZATIONS, I AM INCREDIBLY PROUD TO

SAY WE WILL BE THERE DAY IN AND DAY OUT

TO PROVIDE PEOPLE OF OUR REGION THE

SERVICES THAT THEY DESERVE AND HAVE

EXPECTED FROM US.

THAT IS -- THAT STATEMENT I JUST MADE

IS PREDICATED ON THE GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE

BOARD APPROVING OUR BUDGET AS SUBMITTED.

IF THE BUDGETS ARE CUT, WE'LL HAVE TO

GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND SEE WHAT

THE IMPACTS ON SERVICES IN EXCESS WILL

BE.

>> DARREN: YOU'RE ASKING PATIENTS TO PAY

MORE, BUT OF COURSE MANY OF THEM ALSO

STRUGGLING RIGHT NOW TO LOST JOBS, TO

THEIR LOST REVENUES.

HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THIS ASK?

>> JOHN: WELL, IT'S TOUGH.

WE DONE EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO

MAINTAIN SERVICES AND TO MAKE THOSE ASKS

OF COMMERCIAL INSURANCE AS LOW AS WE CAN.

MANY OF OUR PATIENTS HAVE MEDICAID, HAVE

THEIR CARE PROVIDED AND PAID FOR THROUGH

MEDICARE.

THOSE INCREASES ARE SET BY THE STATE AND

BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

WE REALLY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THOSE,

WHICH PUTS A BURDEN ON THE COMMERCIAL

PAYERS.

WE'RE SENSITIVE TO THAT AND WE DONE

EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT

ON VERMONTERS.

WE'RE ALL ABOUT MAKING HEALTHCARE AS

AFFORDABLE AS WE POSSIBLY CAN.

WE HAVE TO BE THERE TO PROVIDE THE

SERVICES AND AGAIN AS I SAID, THOSE

PHARMACEUTICAL EXPENSES, THE EXPENSES

FOR FINDING, HIRING, AND RETAINING THE

BEST STAFF KEEPS MARCHING ON.

WE HAVE TO HAVE THE FINANCIAL RESOURCES

TO COVER THAT EXPENSE GROWTH.

>> DARREN: JOHN BRUMSTED, THANK YOU.

STAY WELL.

>> JOHN: THANK YOU VERY MUCH DARREN FOR

THE OPPORTUNITY AND YOU STAY WELL ALSO.

>> DARREN: STILL AHEAD, PRIMARY PREVIEW,

MEET THE CANDIDATES HOPING TO SCORE YOUR

VOTE.

>> AND WE MAKE SENSE OF THE CAMPAIGN

DOLLARS THEY RAKED IN.

YOU'RE WATCHING "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

WE'RE BACK IN A MOMENT.

[]

>> DARREN: PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNED AN

EXECUTIVE ORDER TO EFFECTIVELY BAN THE

USE OF TIKTOK, A CHINESE OWNED SOCIAL

MEDIA APP AND TO TALK ABOUT THAT AND OTHER

NATIONAL HEADLINES MARGARET BRENNAN.

THE MODERATOR OF FACE THE NATION IS HERE.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>> GREAT TO BE WITH YOU DARREN.

>> DARREN: THANK YOU.

WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS OVER THIS APP?

>> WELL, THIS IS INTERESTING.

TIKTOK IS A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM OWNED

BY A CHINESE ENTITY.

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS SAYING IT'S

BASICALLY AT RISK OF BEING USED AS A

NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT, COLLECTING

INFORMATION ON ITS USERS FOR ACCESS TO

THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT POTENTIALLY.

SO THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST RECENT EXAMPLES

OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TAKING

ACTION AGAINST CHINA.

THE HARD LINE POSITION FROM THE TRUMP

ADMINISTRATION AS THEY HELD OFF HOPING

TO GET THE TRADE DEAL THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP

CAMPAIGNED ON BROKERED.

THAT HAS NOW FALLEN BY THE WAIST SIDE.

IT HAS BEEN AN ESCALATION TENSION IN THE

LAST FEW WEEKS AND TREMENDOUS NEWS ON

FRIDAY FROM THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE

COMMUNITY IN ACTUALLY MAKING PUBLIC

THEIR ASSESSMENT THAT CHINA, THEY

BELIEVE, IS TRYING TO HELP THE OPPONENT

TO DONALD TRUMP WIN THE ELECTION,

ESSENTIALLY BY HURTING DONALD TRUMP.

CHINA'S PREFERENCE IS THAT DONALD TRUMP

NOT WIN IN 2020 ACCORDING TO THE U.S.

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY.

WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO NATIONAL SECURITY

ADVISOR ROBERT O'BRIEN ABOUT THAT.

>> DARREN: LET'S TALK ABOUT JOBLESS

NUMBERS.

THE U.S. JOBLESS RATE WENT DOWN TO 10%.

WHAT'S THE LATEST ON WHETHER JOBLESS

BENEFITS WILL BE EXTENDED.

>> THAT IS A BIG QUESTION MARK.

CONGRESS HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO COME TO

DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT ON THE AMOUNT OF

MONEY THAT WOULD BE ADDED ON TO

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

IT HAD BEEN THAT $600 AMOUNT AND THAT

EXPIRED ON JULY 31ST.

REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN ARGUING FOR A

SMALLER AMOUNT.

THIS HAS REALLY HELD UP ANY KIND OF

AGREEMENT FOR WEEKS NOW.

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S THREAT TO USE

EXECUTIVE ORDER TO EXTEND THOSE IS ON

THE TABLE, BUT THAT RUNS YOU INTO OTHER

LEGAL COMPLICATIONS AND REALLY THERE'S

A REAL WORLD COST FOR THE LACK OF

AGREEMENT AMONG THESE LAWMAKERS.

THAT IS PEOPLE AT HOME WHO ARE REALLY

COUNTING ON THESE PAYCHECKS DON'T KNOW

HOW MUCH THEY CAN BUDGET FOR BECAUSE

THEY'RE UNCLEAR IF THE AMOUNT THEY

RECEIVE FROM THE STATE WILL HAVE AN

INCREASE OF WHAT SIZE TO GO ALONG WITH

IT.

FOR THE MOMENT, THOSE BENEFITS REMAIN

EXPIRED.

>> DARREN: MARGARET, ALWAYS NICE TO SEE

YOU.

WE'LL SEE YOU LATER THIS MORNING.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> THANKS DARREN.

>> DARREN: NEXT, THE PANDEMIC IS CHANGING

HOW CANDIDATES CAMPAIGN.

WE LOOK AT HOW COVID-19 IS SHAPING THE

2020 VERMONT PRIMARY.

>> AND GET ANALYSIS OF THE TOP RACES.

DON'T GO AWAY.

[]

>> DARREN: TUESDAY IS PRIMARY DAY IN

VERMONT.

THERE ARE FOUR DEMOCRATS IN THE RACE FOR

GOVERNOR.

FAMILIAR FACES FOR VERMONTERS WHO FOLLOW

POLITICS, AS WELL AS RELATIVE NEWCOMERS.

>> I'M NOT --

>> REPORTER: HE'S AN OUTSIDER TO STATE

GOVERNMENT AND THE LEGISLATURE.

HE SAYS HE WILL BRING A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

AND REPRESENT THE INTEREST OF SOUTHERN

VERMONT.

HE SUPPORTS A COMPREHENSIVE PAID FAMILY

LEAVE PLAN AND INCREASING THE MINIMUM

WAGE.

>> I WILL BRING THE PERSPECTIVE TO THE

OFFICE AND THAT'S A PERSPECTIVE THAT MY

OPPONENTS DON'T HAVE.

THEY HAVE BEEN IN GOVERNMENT.

>> REPORTER: REBECCA HOLCOMBE IS NO

STRANGER TO STATE GOVERNMENT.

>> I'M THE ONLY CANDIDATE WITH EXECUTIVE

EXPERIENCE MANAGING INSTITUTIONS LIKE

THIS.

>> REPORTER: SHE SERVED AS SECRETARY OF

EDUCATION UNDER GOVERNOR SHUMLIN AND

SCOTT BUT SPLIT WITH SCOTT IN 2018 AFTER

DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACT 46.

SHE SAYS HER TOP PRIORITIES ARE

INCREASING EQUITY FOR VERMONTERS ACROSS

HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION, AND THE ECONOMY.

>> WE HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THE STATE

A STAINABLE -- SUSTAINABLE PLACE AND WE

NEED SOMEONE TO COORDINATE THAT EFFORT.

THAT'S WHAT I'M LOOKING TO DO.

>> REPORTER: DAVID ZUCKERMAN IS A LONG

TIME FARMER AND POLITICIAN.

HE IS ENDORSED BY SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS.

HIS PRIORITY IS RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE,

EXPANDING ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE AND

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE.

>> WHEN YOU WORK WITH VERMONTERS WHERE

THEY ARE, YOU CAN GET A BREATH OF SUPPORT

FOR LEGISLATION, WHICH ALSO MEANS WHEN

IT PASSES IT HAS MUCH MORE SUPPORT TO

BE IMPLEMENTED WELL.

THAT'S WHAT I WILL BRING TO BEING

GOVERNOR.

>> REPORTER: RALPH CORVO IS ALSO RUNNING.

>> DARREN: THERE ARE TWO PROGRESSIVES

RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR.

FIVE REPUBLICANS ARE RUNNING FOR

GOVERNOR, PHIL SCOTT FACES CHALLENGES

FROM DOUG, JOHN, BERNARD, AND EMILY.

SCOTT HAS RECEIVED HIGH MARKS FOR HIS

HANDLING OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC.

IN A JUNE SURVEY FROM SEVERAL MAJOR

UNIVERSITIES, INCLUDING HARVARD, HE WAS

ONE OF JUST FOUR GOVERNORS WITH AN

APPROVAL RATING OF 70% OR MORE.

THE PANDEMIC HAS PREVENTED THE GOVERNOR

FROM RUNNING A TRADITIONAL CAMPAIGN, BUT

FREQUENT PRESS CONFERENCES HAVE ADDED

TO HIS VISIBILITY.

RUNNING TO THE RIGHT OF THE GOVERNOR IS

JOHN CARR, THE FORMER TAX ATTORNEY WHO

WANTS TO FOCUS ON VERMONT'S SCHOOLS,

OPIOID ABUSE, AND THE ECONOMY.

HE SAYS HE'S RUNNING TO STAND UP FOR

VERMONT'S CONSERVATIVE BASE, WHICH HE

SAYS HAS BEEN LEFT IN THE DARK BY PHIL

SCOTT'S POLICIES.

>> WE NEED A LITTLE BIT MORE FRUGALITY

OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT, NOT JUST OUR

CITIZENS.

WE CAN'T JUST KEEP TIGHTENING OUR BELTS

WHILE THE BUREAUCRACY GROWS.

>> DARREN: RUNNING UNDER THE

AG-REPUBLICAN TICKET, THEY HOPE TO BRING

MORE REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS TO THE SENATE.

THEY HAVE 30 CANDIDATES RUNNING ON THE

TICKET.

HE SAYS THEIR CORE PRINCIPLE IS

GOVERNMENT MUST SPEND WITHIN ITS MEANS.

>>> VERMONT'S LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

PRESIDES OVER THE SENATE AND STEPS UP

TO LEAD IF SOMETHING WERE TO HAPPEN TO

THE GOVERNOR.

TIM ASHE, MOLLY GRAY, DEBBIE INGRAM AND

BRENDA SEE GAL, WHICH FINISHED 3RD IN

THE 2018 PRIMARY FOR GOVERNOR.

FIVE REPUBLICANS ARE RUNNING FOR

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, DANA, JIM, SCOTT,

AND DWAYNE TUCKER.

ACROSS ALL THE RACES FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE,

COVID-19 HAS UP ENDED TRADITIONAL CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISING AND VOTING. CHANNEL 3′S CALVIN CUTLER LOOKS AT HOW THE DEMOCRACY WORKS. >> REPORTER: A PRIMARY ELECTION LIKE NO OTHERS AMID CALLS FOR RACIAL JUSTICE. >> YOU’RE VOTING FOR THE LINEUP FOR THE NOVEMBER ELECTION. >> REPORTER: A FORMER LONG TIME CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, AND PROGRESSIVES EACH HAVE THEIR OWN BALLOT. THAT MEANS IN THE PRIMARY, A VOTER CAN’T PICK REPUBLICAN PHIL SCOTT AND BRENDA SEAGAL. >> YOU CAN’T DO THAT. YOU HAVE TO VOTE BY PARTY. >> REPORTER: ACROSS VERMONT’S POLITICAL SPECTRUM, DOZENS OF CANDIDATES ARE VYING FOR OFFICE FOR JOHN CARR, PHIL SCOTT, TO DAVID ZUCKERMAN. MANY CAST THEMSELVES AS POLITICAL OUTSIDERS. POLICY, COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND ENDORSEMENT MASSACHUSETTS AN IMPACT. VERMONTERS TEND TO VOTE BASED ON CHARACTER. >> THIS IS WHY PHIL SCOTT HAS DONE VERY WELL. PEOPLE MAY NOT AGREE WITH ALL OF HIS POSITIONS, BUT THEY REALLY RESPECT AND ADMIRE HIM AS A PERSON. >> REPORTER: IN THE PANDEMIC, IT’S TOUGH TO SHOW VERMONTERS WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR. NO MEET AND GREETS, NO DOOR KNOCKINGS, NO RALLIES. THAT FORCED CANDIDATES TO RELY ON NAME RECOGNITIONS OR BIG ENDORSEMENTS. POLITICAL NEWCOMER MOLLY GRAY, WHO HAS RACKED UP HIGH PROFILE ENDORSEMENT IS UP AGAINST TIM ASHE WHO RECEIVED 44,000 VOTES IN 2018. >> REPORTER: HOW DO YOU BALANCE THAT NAME RECOGNITION?

WE VOTED FOR TIM ASHE FOR SO LONG OR HEY, HERE’S MOLLY GRAY, SOMEBODY NEW, DIFFERENT, YOUNG, WHO HAS ENDORSEMENTS FROM A LOT OF ESTABLISHED POLITICIANS. >> REPORTER: LEADING UP TO THE GENERAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER, THERE COULD BE HURDLES FOR THE VERMONT G.O.P. MANY THOUGHT SCOTT WOULD BREEZE TO VICTORY. POLITICAL SCIENTISTS SAY THIS YEAR THE R. NEXT TO SCOTT’S NAME COULD HURT HIM IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. >> MANY VERMONTERS WILL VOTE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP, SO THAT’S THE ADVANTAGE THAT DEMOCRATS HAVE AND THAT PHIL SCOTT WILL HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST. IT’S THE IMPULSE FOR A STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET. >> REPORTER: SCOT WHO HAS NOT BEEN ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING SAYS HE HOPES TO GET BACK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AFTER THE PRIMARY. >> I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO CAMPAIGN MORE, MAYBE IN A MORE TRADITIONAL SENSE UH BUT AGAIN THE PANDEMIC COMES FIRST. MY DAY JOB COMES FIRST. >> REPORTER: WHETHER IT’S SCOTT OR ANOTHER CANDIDATE, IT’S A JOB WHICH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VERMONTERS WILL TURN TO THROUGHOUT AND AFTER THE PANDEMIC. REPORTING IN MONTPELIER. >> DARREN: ACCORDING TO HER LATEST FILING WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE, HOLCOMBE HAS RAISED 546,000 TO LEAD THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD.

SHE HAS SPENT 490,000 AND HAS ABOUT 55,000 LEFT IN THE BANK. COMPARE THAT TO DAVID ZUCKERMAN. HIS TOTAL OF 349,000 IS ABOUT 200,000 LESS THAN HOLCOMBE. ZUCKERMAN HAS SPENT MOST OF WHAT HE’S RAISED. HE DID HAVE A LITTLE LEFTOVER FROM HIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CAMPAIGN. WINBURN RAISED MONEY ALMOST ENTIRELY FROM HIS BANK ACCOUNT. HE HAS SPENT ALL OF THAT LEAVING A SMALL DEFICIT AS THE PRIMARY CAMPAIGN WINDS DOWN.

LET’S LOOK AT THE REPUBLICAN CONTEST NOW AS YOU HEARD GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT HASN’T DONE MUCH CAMPAIGNING OR FUNDRAISING. THE INCUMBENT AND RAISED $98,000. HE SPENT $137,000. HE STILL HAS $67,000 CASH ON HAND BECAUSE OF MONEY CARRIED OVER FROM PREVIOUS CAMPAIGNS. ONLY ONE OF THE GOVERNOR’S PRIMARY OPPONENTS HAS RAISED ENOUGH MONEY TO FILE A CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT, JOHN CARR HAS RAISED $37,000. THREE CANDIDATES ARE ON THE BALLOT VYING FOR THE NOMINATION OF STATE AUDITOR. THE POSITION THAT AVOIDS THE POLITICAL LIMELIGHT IS TASKED WITH AUDITING THE PERFORMANCE OF GOVERNMENT, BASICALLY A FINANCIAL WATCHDOG LOOKING FOR FRAUD AND WASTE WITHIN STATE GOVERNMENT AND THEN MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY TO LAWMAKERS. DOUG HOFFER HAS HELD THE POSITION SINCE 2013. FOR THE FIRST TIME HE IS BEING CHALLENGED BY ANOTHER DEMOCRAT IN THE PRIMARY, LINDA SULLIVAN. >> WHATEVER THE FACTS SAY IS WHAT I’M GOING TO TELL YOU. THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO WORK WITH IS OUR REPUTATION.

>> I WOULD CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF HOW THAT OFFICE WAS RUN AND MAKE IT LESS POLICY AND FOLLOW THE STANDARDS THAT ARE REQUIRED.

DARREN: WHOEVER WINS WILL HAVE A MOUNTAIN OF TAXPAYER FUNDS TO KEEP TRACK OF. VERMONT IS SPENDING OVER $1 BILLION IN FEDERAL RELIEF CASH. HOFFER AND SULLIVAN AGREES THAT WHOEVER WIN WILL HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE CASH IS BEING SPENT CORRECTLY OR ELSE THE FEDS WILL MAKE VERMONT PAY IT BACK. CHRIS ERICKSON IS ALSO RUNNING FOR AUDITOR.

MANY OF YOU ALREADY VOTED, A RECORD NUMBER OF VERMONTERS REQUESTED ABSENTEE BALLOTS. MORE THAN 151,000 AS OF THIS BROADCAST AND MORE THAN 91,000 VERMONTERS HAVE ALREADY VOTED AND RETURNED THOSE BALLOTS. IF YOU WANT TO VOTE IN PERSON BUT AREN’T SURE WHERE YOUR POLLING PLACE IS, YOU CAN VISIT MDP.VERMONT.GOV. YOU CAN FIND THAT LINK ON OUR WEBSITE, WCAX.COM. POLLING PLACES WILL BE OPEN UNTIL 7:00 P.M. ON TUESDAY.

TOWN CLERKS HAVE BEEN SUPPLIED WITH P.P.E. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE WHEN YOU’RE THERE AND REMEMBER TO WEAR A MASK. THE STATEWIDE MANDATE IS IN EFFECT. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS SUNDAY MORNING. BE SAFE, STAY WELL, AND WE’LL SEE YOU SOON.

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