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Without further ado, we bring you The Scoreboard, for the week of September 7:
Annette Smith — Until last week, this Danby off-the-grid-er was known mostly to liberal activists and reporters looking for a pithy, anti-wind quip. No longer. Smith's almost-tie for the Progressive gubernatorial nomination — which she could still win in a recount — has elevated her stature, bolstering her advocacy work for Vermonters for a Clean Environment. If Smith ends up prevailing in a recount, look for Gov. Peter Shumlin on next week's loser list: he'll face a feisty adversary in this fall's debates.
Doug Hoffer and Vince Illuzzi — They may be running against each other, but both candidates for state auditor had a good week. Nearlyeverymediaoutlet in the state (except this one) covered Illuzzi's Barre campaign kickoff. And Hoffer finally figured out how to get press: attack incumbent auditor Tom Salmon and wait for him to snap back. No matter that Salmon's not even on the ballot!
Jim Condos — So Vermont's Secretary of State called us up to complain about his inclusion in last week's inaugural Scoreboard, but we're afraid to say he's made the list again. The apparent bungling of the write-in count in the Progressive gubernatorial contest is just sloppy. And his explanation to Seven Days' Andy Bromage of how his office misread faxed election results wasn't exactly reassuring: "If you look at the original, it looks like it was a zero and someone added a leg to it." You know you're on tough times when you include the following quote in a press release, as Condos did Wednesday: “As I grew up, my father always told me that if a mistake is made, own up to it, learn from it, and move on!”
The Progressive Party — The other losers in Vermont's own hanging chad situation were the Progs, for two reasons: 1. Their own candidate for governor, Martha Abbott, either barely beat or tied or barely lost to a reluctant write-in candidate. That's not too hot. 2. Media attention to the Progressive gubernatorial contest has shone a light on the Progs' cigar-chomping, backroom deal with Democrats to pull Abbott out of the race and back Shumlin. So much for an independent third party!
Randy Brock — Sure, Brock can complain about Shumlin's decision to limit this fall's gubernatorial debates to those sponsored by the media. And he should. We in the media can complain too, because we'll have fewer opportunities to see the two in action. But in the end, voters really just don't care — and eventually Brock's debate-dodging hit on Shumlin will grow stale. Just ask T.J. Donovan. Shumlin's strategy this campaign season is clearly to starve Brock of any oxygen. So far, it's working.