Zuckerman had taken the lead in the polls ahead of the four-way race. On the Republican side, some saw the race between Benning and Gregory Thayer a symbol of division within the party.
Statehouse veteran and moderate Republican Joe Benning is up against Gregory Thayer, a former local GOP chair who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in Washington, D.C. in Vermont’s Republican primary for lieutenant governor.
That’s according to the latest batch of fundraising reports filed Aug. 1 with the Secretary of State’s Office. The reports cover raising and spending for state candidates and political action committees for the month of July.
The poll also suggests Republican Gov. Phil Scott is cruising to reelection. If the election were held today, 60% of respondents said they would back Scott, while 16% said they would vote for Democrat Brenda Siegel.
While the four Democratic candidates found common ground on housing and affordability, the Republicans staked out territory in alignment with Gov. Phil Scott and further to the right.
The debates — some of which will take place in person and all of which will be livestreamed — will include major party candidates engaged in competitive primary campaigns.
The June 15 event will feature Republican and Democratic candidates for LG. It will take place at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland and will also be livestreamed on VTDigger’s website.
The 50-year-old Hinesburg farmer, who served two terms in Vermont’s No. 2 spot, says he can offer “some continuity and experience” during a “perilous moment in our democracy.”
“I think that this is a time where we have to be very thoughtful in the choices that we make,” said Toll, a Danville Democrat who spent 12 years in the House. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
With incumbent Democrat Lt. Gov. Molly Gray vacating her seat to run for Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House, the 2022 race for lieutenant governor is wide open. Republican state Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, is already in the race.
David Zuckerman, a Progressive/Democrat who served as lieutenant governor from 2017 to 2021, said he’s “more likely than not” to throw his hat in the ring. Doug Racine, a Democrat who held the post from 1997 to 2003, similarly said he is “moving more in that direction than not.”
The 65-year-old attorney said he would bring to the job “a desire to treat people with respect and civility and to try to get away from the tri-partisan bickering that goes on.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, appears poised to become the first Republican to seek the state’s No. 2 post.
The opening for lieutenant governor comes as incumbent Lt. Gov. Molly Gray vies for Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House.