Welch Taps Utility Exec | Freyne Land
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Welch Taps Utility Exec

Posted By on Fri, Nov 10, 2006 at 4:56 PM

Web Exclusive!

Breaking News....

***Friday evening 6:55 p.m....John Tracy to join Sen. Leahy's staff***

click to enlarge johntracy.jpg
According to a "reliable source," State Rep. John Patrick Tracy of Burlington's Old North End, he who lost the Democrat Primary for Lite-Gov to State Sen. Matt Dunne, will be working on Veterans Affairs out of St. Patrick's Montpeculiar office.

Vermont vets will be in good hands. John-John served in Vietnam.

UPDATE - Spoke to Tracy at Battery Park Veterans observance at 11 a.m. this Saturday morning. He told us his new Leahy job will involve "outreach, veterans healthcare, human services and education."

"A perfect fit,"  said the departing chairman of the House Committee on Health Care.

Congratulations!

***************************************************************************************************

Three days after defeating Republican Martha Rainville to win Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, Democratic State Sen. Peter Welch got right down to business Friday, choosing his new chief of staff.

click to enlarge roganwelch.jpg

Pedro has tapped Green Mountain Power's vice president of public affairs Bob Rogan of Burlington. Mr. Rogan is 47 and a former close aide to Howard Dean, both when Ho-Ho was governor in the mid-1990s and also when current-DNC Chairman Dean mounted his exciting bid for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination.

Before he joined "Dean for America," Rogan was a "public affairs" VP over at Central Vermont Public Service in Rutland for five years. Certainly he's got a different style, as well as, closer ties to and experience with "Corporate America" than his Sanderista predecessor Jeff Weaver.  Said Rogan Friday afternoon as Democrat HQ got empty:

“This is a surprise to me. Peter and I had breakfast this morning. I knew what the context of it was - he was going to ask me if I could help him.

"So I was willing to do that, but never expected that he was going to ask me to be his chief of staff. We had a really good thorough discussion.

"I’m excited about it. It’s a real honor to go down to Washington to serve Vermonters and to help Peter bring to Washington what we know him to be in Vermont, which is a practical, effective leader of the Vermont Senate. He’s going to do the same thing down in Washington and help deliver good things for Vermont  and America.”

Good time to be going to Washington, eh?

"It is a good time to go to Washington. Change is washing across the city. To have a small part of that in helping Peter play a big role is going to be exciting. All of my political juices are flowing once again and it feels good."

The Ho-Ho deputy chief of staff experience on Montpeculiar's Fifth Floor 10 years ago - good training?

"I think it’s been great training. I’ve worked for two U.S. Senators and two governors and someone who was almost a nominee of the Democratic Party for president. So coming through all those experiences helps me bring to bear for Vermont and for Peter hopefully a successful term as congressman."

The only downside appears to be the fact Bob will be spending most of his time outside Vermont.

"I'd like to maintain my place here in Vermont and travel back and forth as needed. But the principal role of the chief of staff comes out of the Washington office, so I will be moving to Washington."

We also got a few quick words in with the one-and-only Carolyn Dwyer, Pedro's talented campaign manager.  At first she dodge questions, saying "I retired on November 7." But we pressed her for her honest take on Tuesday's outcome.

“I think it was a resounding victory.”

What did it?

"A strong candidate with a great grassroots organization and a command of the issues. He’s completely in touch with where Vermonters are at and he’s prepared to carry their message to Washington."

What does Carolyn Dwyer do next?

"Carolyn Dwyer goes on vacation now. A beautiful island in Hawaii.
Kauai. I intend to lounge on the beach."

Said veteran GOP State Sen. Vince Illuzzi from Newport:

"Rogan's one of the more benevolent utility executives in Vermont. I think he’s a great choice. He can work with both sides of the aisle."

He's also a utility executive who has actually seen Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

Good sign, eh?

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Bio:
Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More by Peter Freyne

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