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Vermont's Future (Governor)?


Published October 14, 2009 at 4:48 p.m.

Potential Democratic gubernatorial candidate Matt Dunne has launched a website asking the simple question: "What is the future of Vermont?"

Though he stresses this is not an announcement that he's running for governor, Dunne did tell Seven Days he has opened a bank account so he can be ready to go if he decides to run. And he will decide soon. He'll make announcement next month.

In an email asking people to contribute ideas at the site, Dunne said he wants people to share their ideas on how to improve Vermont.

"In 2010 we will elect a new Governor. Together, we will be building a new future and entering a new era in Vermont's history," wrote Dunne in his email. "As many of you know, I am exploring a run for Governor. During the past month, I have engaged in exciting discussions with Vermonters who are ready to come together to share new ideas to move our state forward. Please join us in this conversation."

If he does jump into the race, he will join an already crowded field. To date, there are three announced candidates for governor: Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, State Sen. Doug Racine (Chittenden), and State Sen. Susan Bartlett (Lamoille).

In addition, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin (D-Windham) is also exploring a run for governor. He'll make his announcement in November as well.

Dunne's effort to reach out beyond a "kitchen table cabinet" list of advisers and insiders is consistent with the "service politics" theme he ran on in 2006 when he challenged Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie (and lost). In fact, out of that campaign came the Service Politics Institute. It also matches up with his tech-related background, and his current position with Google as the firm's U.S. manager of community affairs.

In his email, Dunne said his own life and work experiences in the past few years have stirred up new ideas that he believes will help Vermont better face the future.

"But in leading organizations large and small, I’ve learned that no one — not even a new Governor — can bring about change alone. That’s why I’m asking you to share your thoughts and ideas," said Dunne.