Prog Candidate to Challenge Gov. Shumlin — At Least For Now | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Prog Candidate to Challenge Gov. Shumlin — At Least For Now

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Republican Sen. Randy Brock isn't the only one challenging Gov. Peter Shumlin for the state's top job. Progressive Party Chairwoman and perennial candidate Martha Abbott is also gathering signatures to run for governor.

But the Underhill resident, who has run for governor and state auditor before — twice each — says she's not necessarily in it for the long haul.

"There's a lot of issues we don't agree with [Shumlin] on," she says. "But I'm not saying I'm going to stay in the race. I'm not saying I'm not going to stay in the race."

Why all the indecision?

Abbott and Progressive Party executive director Morgan Daybell say the party is fielding a candidate for three reasons: One of their statewide candidates has to win five percent of the vote for the party to retain major party status; they want to keep candidates from other parties from hijacking the nomination; and, most importantly, they want to push Shumlin to the left.

According to Daybell, by putting the squeeze on the Democratic governor, they can "sort of hold Shumlin's feet to the fire on budget, tax and labor issues that the Progressives feel he's not been doing well on."

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