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November 30, 2009

Sen. Randy Brock to Stay Put: No Run for Lite Guv

UPDATED BELOW (5:55 P.M.) — Sen. Phil Scott (R-Washington) to make "important announcement" Tuesday at 5 p.m. in South Burlington.

The GOP contest to succeed Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie narrowed today, with the news that State Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin) will seek reelection in 2010.

Brock was one of several current and former senators contemplating a run for lieutenant governor — a job whose primary duty is to preside over the state senate while it's in session.

"As lieutenant governor, my role would be limited and I would rarely be able to weigh in on issues of importance. However, in the senate, I would continue to have the ability to introduce, advance and influence key legislation. I would continue to be able to speak out forcefully on issues that affect all Vermonters," said Brock in a statement. "The 2010 elections are now far away. We still have a legislative session that begins in January. That session will be a difficult one, and by not entering into the race for a statewide office, I will be free to concentrate on the business that Franklin County and Alburgh voters sent me to Montpelier to do."

With Brock out of the race, all eyes now fall to state senators Phil Scott (R-Washington) and Sen. Vince Illuzzi (R-Essex/Orleans). Illuzzi has said he’s going to wait until after the legislative session to determine if he’ll make a run for lite guv.

As of two weeks ago, Scott was 75 percent sure he would enter the race. Brock's announcement may be all he needs to make it official. 

So far there is only one declared GOP candidate — Republican Mark Snelling,the son of former Gov. Richard Snelling and Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling. His sister, Sen. Diane Snelling, is currently the lone Republican in the six-member Chittenden County senate delegation. 

On the Democratic side, Progressive Rep. David Zuckerman is beginning to make the rounds of county Democratic committees. Zuckerman is exploring a run for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary. If he wins, he hopes to run as a Progressive/Democrat. Zuckerman met last Monday with about 20 members of the Washington County Democratic Committee.

Longtime peace activist, horse logger and Liberty Union candidate Boots Wardinski announced earlier this fall  he was running for lieutenant governor — as a Progressive.

Other Democrats considering a run for lite guv include state senators Virginia "Ginny" Lyons and Ed Flanagan, along with nonprofit consultant Tim Palmer.

As noted in last week's "Fair Game" businessman Rodolphe "Skip" Vallee is thinking of challenging Dubie in a primary. In making his announcement not to run for lieutenant governor, Brock also said he will support Dubie's bid for governor. 

"I will assist him in any way I can," said Brock of his support for Dubie. "Over the next year I intend to work tirelessly to recruit and elect more people who think as I do to the Vermont senate and house of representatives."

In the world of politics, however, good politicians learn to "never say never." And, that was the case with Brock.

"While today’s announcement accurately reflects my intentions at this point, I will leave open the very remote possibility that my plans might change should circumstances change in ways that I cannot now predict," Brock added.

Brock, who lives in Swanton, was elected to the Senate in 2008. He served as auditor from 2005-
2007 and was narrowly defeated for re-election in an historic recount in 2006 that gave the job to then Democrat Tom Salmon. Salmon, earlier this year, switched parties and became a Republican.

* * * UPDATE * * *

This afternoon, Sen. Phil Scott issued a press advisory stating he will make "an important announcement" regarding the 2010 election.

Given Scott is a Washington County senator and is making this announcement in South Burlington (Chittenden County) something tells me he's not announcing his reelection bid.

Though, come to think of it maybe he's moving to Chittenden County and running for a senate seat since so many of the current delegation is thinking about retiring or running for higher office. Hmmm.

Interesting,please let me think before commenting. I will rejoin you tomorrow.

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