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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Opinion
Walters: VTGOP Falls Short on Candidates

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 7:51 PM

Democratic gubernatorial candidates Brenda Siegel and James Ehlers outside the Vermont Secretary of State's office - JOHN WALTERS
  • John Walters
  • Democratic gubernatorial candidates Brenda Siegel and James Ehlers outside the Vermont Secretary of State's office
The filing deadline for candidates in Vermont's August primary was 5 p.m. Thursday. There were no huge last-minute surprises; the rumor mill proved thoroughly unreliable.

The latest subject of speculation to formally pull out: former Barre mayor Thom Lauzon, who'd been pondering a Republican candidacy for lieutenant governor. The deciding factor, he said, was his wife, Karen. "She said, 'Do you really have a passion for the job?' I said, 'No, because I don't really know what the job is!'"

Republicans did get a late challenger to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): Manchester real estate agent Lawrence Zupan, who's virtually unknown in Vermont political circles. Zupan joins Burlington attorney Jasdeep Pannu and perpetual candidate H. Brooke Paige of Washington on the Republican primary ballot, contending for the chance to challenge Sanders, the most popular politician in the state. He happens to have more than $6 million in his reelection war chest. (A necessary caveat: Petitions must be checked by the Secretary of State's office, so the candidates listed in this column are not yet official.)

In the August primary, Sanders will face long-odds Democratic challengers Rocky de la Fuente, a Californian best known as a fringe candidate for president; and Folasade Adeluola, a resident of Indiana whose petitions list a Shelburne motel as her official residence.

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Keurig Green Mountain Lays Off 35 Vermont Employees

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 5:05 PM

The discontinued Keurig KOLD drink maker - COURTESY OF KEURIG
  • Courtesy of Keurig
  • The discontinued Keurig KOLD drink maker
Updated 5:37 p.m.

Keurig Green Mountain is laying off 53 manufacturing employees, including 35 in Vermont, the company said Thursday.

The coffee and beverage giant notified Vermont Labor Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle that the layoffs involve employees at its Essex, Williston and Waterbury locations, according to Kurrle.

The layoffs are part of an effort to consolidate and restructure the company's manufacturing operations, spokesperson Katie Gilroy wrote in an email to Seven Days.

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Milne Won't Challenge Scott or Sanders in 2018

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 8:57 AM

Scott Milne - FILE: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Scott Milne
Republican businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne announced Thursday that he will not run for statewide office in 2018.

Milne told Seven Days last week that he was considering a run for office this year and had hinted that he might challenge Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the primary or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the general election.

The 59-year-old Pomfret resident and travel agency president ran against then-governor Peter Shumlin in 2014 and nearly unseated him. Two years later, he challenged Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) but lost by a much larger margin: 60 to 33 percent.

In an announcement to supporters and reporters Thursday morning, Milne said that more than 300 people had urged him to run for office in recent weeks. He directly criticized Sanders for an agenda he called "arthritic and driven by politics" but suggested that Sanders' reelection was a foregone conclusion.

"With his next term, I believe he has a final opportunity to prove that he is not just another flavor of the careerist politicians who’ve gotten us into this mess," Milne wrote.

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