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Democratic senator backs Republican for Vt. lieutenant governor

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 5:02 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A Democratic Chittenden County senator is endorsing the Republican candidate for Vermont lieutenant governor. Sen. Debbie Ingram ran for the state’s number two job as a Democrat and lost in the primary. Our Calvin Cutler reports on the reasoning behind the political shakeup.

Ingram is throwing her support behind Republican Scott Milne.

“I have decided to vote for Scott Milne for lieutenant governor and I encourage all Vermonters to do the same,” Ingram said.

Ingram is one of three Democrats who lost to political newcomer Molly Gray in the August Democratic primary.

The Chittenden County state senator points to Milne’s experience as a business owner, his 60-point platform released last week and his humility.

She says Gray, who gathered a number of high profile endorsements, should instead work her way up through the ranks of the Democratic Party.

“We need experience in order to understand the issues and how political processes work so we’re most effective,” Ingram said.

In response, Gray’s campaign said in a statement to WCAX News: “Molly’s legal training and work in public policy uniquely qualify her for the position. These qualifications, along with her deep roots in Vermont and her willingness to engage voters in their communities is why she has received endorsements from former Lieutenant Governors Madeleine Kunin, Peter Smith, Howard Dean, and Doug Racine.”

Just last month, Ingram was also in Gray’s camp. She appeared alongside Gray at a Democratic unity rally, urging voters to vote blue in November.

She says identity politics is a big problem in America.

“I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to look at the candidates and evaluate them on their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve done that and I’ve come down on the side of Scott Milne,” Ingram said.

Ingram acknowledges she and Milne differ on many policy proposals but says they can agree on health care and housing.

Milne describes the endorsement as a milestone in the race and says this will help him gather the support of other Democrats.

“There’s a history of Democrats not just voting by what the letter is after your name is, but like I said before looking at the person who’s standing for election, doing a little due diligence and thinking about what’s best for your kids and grandkids,” Milne said.

Ingram said that there are several other key Democrats who plan to support Milne but she declined to say who.

Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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