By Guy Page
Caledonia County Vermont State Senator Joe Benning, a Republican, is exploring a run for lieutenant governor, he told the Chronicle yesterday.
Benning reportedly mentioned the likely run at a VT GOP finance committee meeting this weekend. In response to a Chronicle query he answered: “I’m on an exploratory search. Part of that search is collecting names on a petition, a process that sparks the kind of discussion which will help me make that decision.”
The lieutenant governor office will be open in 2022 because incumbent Molly Gray plans to run for Congress.
Benning is a St. Johnsbury criminal defense attorney, current Chair of the Senate Institutions Committee, and former Senate minority leader. The New Jersey native graduated from Mater Dei High School in New Monmouth, New Jersey, in 1975; from Lyndon State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science in 1979; and from Vermont Law School in 1983.
At the GOP finance committee, Benning was challenged by Republican Jim Sexton and others for his support of Gov. Phil Scott and his public opposition to participants in the Jan. 6 event at the U.S. Capitol.