By Guy Page
A WCAX reporter yesterday asked Gov. Phil Scott the question on the minds of many politically active Vermont Republicans: could he do more to get Republicans elected to the Legislature?
Scott’s answer: the solution isn’t necessarily more Republicans.
Gov. Scott, like his Republican predecessor James Douglas, has enjoyed personal popularity and relatively easy re-elections marked by strong support from moderate Democrats and independents and short coattails for other Republican candidates. Some of the party faithful quietly – and occasionally not so quietly – wished their popular Republican governors would do more to elect GOP legislators.
But whatever the reason, the number of Republicans in the House and Senate has steadily dwindled. Their inability to sustain gubernatorial vetos frustrates Scott.
“Some [Vermonters] have come to me unsolicited and said, ‘I can’t believe what they’re doing in Montpelier. Can’t you do something about that?,’” Scott said at a June 29 press conference. “They just assume that the governor has the power to stop anything from happening that is detrimental to the state. We’re so out of balance that that’s just not the case,”
“Let’s see what happens in the next election. Hopefully we’ll get some balance,” Scott said. “I don’t think any one party should have that much power, that they can just sidestep the governor. I just think that the governor has a role to play.”
After hearing Scott explain what a governor couldn’t do, WCAX reporter Calvin Cutler asked the popular incumbent Republican governor what he could do:
“What are you doing to reach out to more Republican candidates to get more Republicans -”
“I’ve said this before, it doesn’t have to be Republicans,” Scott interrupted Cutler in mid-sentence. “I just want more legislators with common sense. More Centrist moderates who understand how to balance a checkbook.”
See Gov. Scott’s June 29 press briefing here.
Categories: State Government