UPDATED BELOW (5:55 P.M.) — Sen. Phil Scott (R-Washington) to make "important announcement" Tuesday at 5 p.m. in South Burlington.
The GOP contest to succeed Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie narrowed today, with the news that State Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin) will seek reelection in 2010.
Brock was one of several current and former senators contemplating a run for lieutenant governor — a job whose primary duty is to preside over the state senate while it's in session.
"As lieutenant governor, my role would be limited and I would rarely beable to weigh in on issues of importance. However, in the senate, Iwould continue to have the ability to introduce, advance and influencekey legislation. I would continue to be able to speak out forcefully onissues that affect all Vermonters," said Brock in a statement. "The 2010 elections arenow far away. We still have a legislative session that begins inJanuary. That session will be a difficult one, and by not entering intothe race for a statewide office, I will be free to concentrate on thebusiness that Franklin County and Alburgh voters sent me to Montpelierto do."
With Brock out of the race, all eyes now fall to state senators Phil Scott (R-Washington) and Sen. Vince Illuzzi (R-Essex/Orleans). Illuzzi has said he’s going to wait until after the legislative session to determine if he’ll make a run for lite guv.
As of two weeks ago, Scott was 75 percent sure he would enter the race. Brock's announcement may be all he needs to make it official.
So far there is only one declared GOP candidate —Republican Mark Snelling,the son of former Gov. Richard Snelling and Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling. His sister, Sen. Diane Snelling, is currently the lone Republican in the six-member Chittenden County senate delegation.