Who's up for the Lt. Governor Race ?

Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor Cassandra Gekas will formally kick off her campaign this Thursday in Burlington. Gekas stepped forward to challenge Lt. Governor Phil Scott when it looked like he would just drive across the finish line to his second term unopposed. Speaking to the Bennington Banner last week Gekas said this about why she entered the race:

"For me, this is about issues and Vermonters’ values. It’s true that our current lieutenant governor is a nice guy and has a lot solid friendships across the state, but that’s different from being a policy leader and an elected official.

The Burlington kick off at Union Station will feature her campaign treasurer Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s as host and among others in attendance will be Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell and State Senator Hinda Miller who is leaving the legislature. It appears that the governor will not be there . A glance at Governor Peter Shumlin’s public schedule for the day of the rally (August 16) notes only that it is state holiday and shows no appointments or appearences for that day.

In between the lines a VtDigger article may hint diplomatically at why the governor could be taking Bennington Battle Day off from campaigning.

Gov. Peter Shumlin, who encouraged Gekas to run against popular incumbent Republican Phil Scott, will endorse her race. Scott is close to the governor, and he participates in Shumlin’s Cabinet meetings. At a press conference in July, the governor said he would back all Democratic contenders in statewide races, including Gekas and Doug Hoffer, the Democrat running for state auditor.

However, it is good to read about Senators Miller and Campbell stepping up and giving a helping hand to a fellow Democratic candidate. Earlier an image and flattering quote from the Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell (D-Windsor) had graced Lt.Governor Scott’s facebook re-election campaign page. And Miller was one of several Democrats to attend a fund raiser for Republican candidate for State Auditor Vince Illuzzi who is running against Democratic candidate Doug Hoffer.

Now, whether this showing up would've happened without blog and press attention to the prior incidents of campaign-and-fundraising-related cross-party "amity" is anyone's guess. And whether their presence at Thursday's Democratic Lt. Governor's campaign kick-off event amounts to anything more than face-saving window-dressing won't become clear, even in the best crystal balls, until after the next round of campaign finance reports.

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