For the first time in 2016, the four major candidates for Vermont’s next Governor had a platform to talk to voters about the issues. The main topic of a forum in Woodstock is on the mind of many Vermonters: how to grow the state’s economy, and make the Green Mountain State more affordable.
All four candidates believe they’re the right fit for Vermont’s top job. At the Woodstock Inn & Resort, candidates took on the issues and pitched how they would improve the economy.
“We can not spend more than we are bringing in,” said Lt. Governor and Republican candidate Phil Scott.
“The cost of living didn’t arrive with your morning breakfast. It’s been growing as an issue for 15 years,” said Republican candidate Bruce Lisman.
“We are seeing a rise in poverty,” said Democratic candidate Matt Dunne. “In this area we’re seeing a housing vacancy rating of less than one percent.”
“Infrastructure modernization. Second, work force development and finally igniting our entrepreneurial spirit and innovation,” said Democratic candidate Sue Minter.
Vermonters with the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce got right to their concerns, hitting education spending and a new school consolidation law.
“The caps are bad, they’re difficult to understand and they should be repealed,” Dunne said.
“It was a hastily drawn, under researched and frankly under whelming piece of legislation,” Lisman said.
“We’re servicing 20 thousand less kids than we were 20 years ago,” Lt. Governor Scott said.
“We do have a declining enrollment problem and it is pushing up property taxes,” Minter said.
In the spirit of education, candidates were asked to grade the current government.
Sue Minter gave an optimistic ‘B’ for innovation in transportation. Matt Dunne gave out an ‘A’ for renewable energy, but a ‘D-‘ for health care.
The Republican candidates weren’t as gracious.
Bruce Lisman called the administration “incompetent”, giving them an ‘F’. Lt. Governor Phil Scott said “We’re all in this boat together,” but eventually gave government a reluctant ‘D’.
The Vermont Governor’s race not the only major election happening in 2016. When the Vermont Governor candidates were asked who they would endorse for President, only Matt Dunne voiced his support clearly, for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Lt. Governor Phil Scott said we don’t need an entertainer in Chief, and therefor won’t be endorsing either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.