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Independent Emily Peyton Withdraws from Governor's Race, Backs Shumlin 

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Another independent candidate has dropped out of the super-competitive governor's race and endorsed Democrat Peter Shumlin.

Emily Peyton, a 51-year-old activist from Putney, told Seven Days today she is withdrawing effective immediately. She is the second candidate in as many days to back out of the race: Yesterday, Liberty Union Party candidate Ben Mitchell threw in the towel, saying he didn't want his votes to tip the election to Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who Mitchell calls "a far right ideologue."

Three other independent candidates — Dennis Steele of Kirby, Dan Feliciano of Essex Junction, and Cris Ericson of Chester — have all said they're staying in the race.

The departure of Peyton and Mitchell would seemingly help Shumlin as he battles Dubie for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Gov. Jim Douglas. A VPR opinion poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. earlier this month, showed Dubie getting 44 percent and Shumlin with 43 percent. Each of the five independent candidates were polling at 1 percent.

Peyton and Mitchell were both running to the left of Shumlin on platforms of socialized energy, state-owned banks and drug legalization. Peyton says she's mentioned her ideas for banking reform to Shumlin and feels the Democrat has been receptive.

Peyton blames the "suppression of my platform by the media" and a "lack of inclusion in the debates" for sinking her campaign. "I didn't have the name recognition," she says.

"The race was fixed from the beginning," she continues. "The race was not ever an open, flat playing field. I kicked myself for not strategizing by going as a Republican to get into the forums. But frankly, I don't believe in  Republicans or Democrats."

Peyton's name will still appear on the ballot — as will MItchell's — but she's urging her supporters to vote for Shumlin.

"When I go into the booth, I will be voting for Peter Shumlin, because I want to vote for a winner," Peyton says.

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Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage

Andy Bromage was a Seven Days staff writer from 2009-2012, and the news editor from 2012-2013.

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