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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Opinion
Walters: Congressional Candidate Drops Out on Live Radio

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 5:32 PM

Ben Mitchell - ANNA STE. MARIE/VPR
  • Anna Ste. Marie/VPR
  • Ben Mitchell
This story has been updated.

Just a few days in advance of next Tuesday's Vermont primary, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) saw one of his two Democratic challengers drop out of the race and endorse the other.

He literally saw it, because it happened during a live debate on Vermont Public Radio Thursday with all three candidates in the same studio.

Ben Mitchell, an educator from Westminster, took part in the debate and then, during his closing statement, announced he was withdrawing and endorsing Dan Freilich, a physician from Brownsville. Both candidates have made campaign finance a centerpiece of their efforts to defeat Welch, who routinely raises most of his money from corporations and political action committees. As of July 15, Welch's campaign fund had a balance of nearly $2.1 million.

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At GOP Gathering, Gun-Rights Activists Fail to Secure No-Confidence Vote in Scott

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 12:36 PM

Richmond Republican Ed Gallo - ALICIA FREESE
  • Alicia Freese
  • Richmond Republican Ed Gallo
Vermont conservatives opposed to Republican Gov. Phil Scott's reelection were thwarted Wednesday evening in an attempt to hold a vote of no confidence in the governor at a gathering of Chittenden County Republicans.

It was both a visceral display of the party’s ambivalence toward its standard-bearer and a sign that the anti-Scott ranks have yet to prove their clout.

More than 40 people packed into a small room in the Shelburne town offices for a meeting of the Chittenden County Republican Party. It was uneventful until Ed Gallo, the newly elected head of the Richmond Republican Town Committee, said his piece.

Mere days before Scott faces off against Republican challenger Keith Stern in the Aug. 14 primary, Gallo questioned the governor's GOP bona fides and called on the county committee to disown its only statewide officeholder.

Scott's decision to sign sweeping gun legislation earlier this year won praise from Democrats but provoked members of his own party, who have vowed payback at the polls this year. A Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS poll conducted in July found that 49 percent of Republicans approved of Scott and 35 percent disapproved — a higher disapproval rating than Scott's among independents and Democrats.

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