This year’s election will trigger a turnover at the top perhaps unprecedented in Vermont history. A new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and new heads of the House and Senate will all be in place by next January. And heading into the campaign, Vermont’s two major parties are offering completely different visions of the state of our state and the mood of its people.
Republicans see Vermonters as tired of high taxes, government intrusion, and the restless reformism (as they see it) of the Shumlin administration.
You’d expect Democrats to be treading cautiously. They are in the tightrope position of simultaneously defending their tenure in power, and crafting a distinctive profile going forward. Not to mention its persistently strong incrementalist tendencies.
However. Driven by Bernie Sanders’ overwhelming success in our primary, the party is moving leftward. There is a sense that Vermonters are ready for even more decisive change, even more government, a more aggressive push to lift up the downtrodden and blunt the sharp edges of capitalism.