By Guy Page
For the second time in two years, a political unknown raised on a Vermont dairy farm will run for lieutenant governor.
Patricia Preston is an Orange County native and UVM grad. She is the Executive Director for the Vermont Council on World Affairs. Like incumbent Molly Gray, she was raised on a dairy farm.
The Vermont Council on World Affairs was founded by U.S. Sen. Warren Austin of Vermont, the first U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The VCWA “in cooperation with the public and private sectors, promotes an awareness and understanding of the world and its people through public forums, hosting international visitors and working with our educational institutions to develop programs for students, faculty, staff and community.”
The VCWA “Person of the Year” and speaker selections appointments show a Democratic leaning (although not exclusively so): Sen. Patrick Leahy, Rep. Peter Welch, former GMP CEO Mary Powell, former Gov. Madeleine Kunin, and pundits Tom Friedman and Bill McKibben. Gov. James Douglas also was Person as the Year, as was the Jay Peak Development Team in 2013.
In a YouTube campaign video, Preston hit on several key campaign issues.
“We all know someone who can’t afford to buy a house. Our workforce is shrinking. Our infrastructure is aging. The divisiveness we see in politics today threatens Vermont’s civic life, which I have always treasured.
“Let’s not forget the promise we make to the next generation, from our state schools to the climate crisis. We need to take serious action….. As Vermont’s next lieutenant governor I will work tirelessly to build the trust and cooperation we need to solve our most pressing issues to make Vermont the state we know it can be.”
If elected, Preston would succeed incumbent Molly Gray, who is running for Congress. Other LG candidates known include Rep. Charlie Kimbell, a centrist Democrat from Woodstock; other rumored candidates include former LG David Zuckerman, former House Appropriations Chair Kitty Toll, and GOP State Senator Joe Benning.