Last-minute campaigning by Gray, Milne in closely contested race

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 6:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 2, 2020 at 6:29 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - In what could be the most closely contested race for statewide office in Vermont, Molly Gray and Scott Milne are looking for your vote to become the next lieutenant governor. Our Dom Amato takes a look at the intense campaign in this unusual election year.

“It’s a COVID year. You can’t shake hands, you can’t do a lot things you like to do,” said Scott Milne, Republican for Vt. Lt. Governor.

“We’ve been trying to be very, very careful obviously with COVID,” said Molly Gray, Democrat for Vt. Lt. Governor.

Gray and Milne waved at voters Monday morning just hours before Election Day during a campaign season like no other.

“Optimistic it’s going to go our way,” Milne said.

“I’m feeling great,” Gray said.

Although the lieutenant governor doesn’t have much say in state policy decisions, Gray and Milne have focused their campaigns on a number of key talking points.

Business owner Scott Milne is focusing on rebuilding the state’s economy following the pandemic. He says his business background is what Vermont needs for the job and claims his proposals are economically sound and affordable, not pie in the sky.

“The voice that I am providing to a lot of Vermonters who feel that Phil Scott needs a partner and it’s really important and we have a lot of work to do to get out of this health crisis,” Milne said.

He believes his campaign losses in 2014 and 2016 have helped him prepare for this campaign where he’s in a close race against political newcomer Molly Gray.

“I am so proud of the campaign we have run,” Gray said.

An assistant attorney general, Gray has earned high praise from Democratic heavyweights in Vermont.

She’s focused on the future and says balancing Vermont’s budget to its greatest needs is most important. She believes the state’s demographic challenges, access to child care and broadband connectivity are bread and butter issues for voters.

“I am so proud to have run a positive, issue-focused forward-looking campaign that’s really unifying Vermonters across party lines,” Gray said.

While each candidate has their own vision for Vermont, neither will have much legislative power. But the job does help set up for a brighter political future. A number of Vermont politicians, including current Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, Gov. Phil Scott, Brian Dubie, Doug Racine, Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin have held the state’s number two job and either became governor or fell short.

Vermont also has a history of splitting the ticket between governor and lieutenant governor. It’s happened most recently between right now and 2011.

A Republican and Democrat have shared the top two jobs seven different times in the last 57 years. There have been seven different instances of this since 1963, which was when Democratic Gov. Phil Hoff was elected with Republican Lt. Gov. Larry Foote.

The last time two candidates of the same party were governor and lt. governor was from 2003 to 2011, when Republican Gov. Jim Douglas and Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie were in office.

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