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Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Participate in Political Forum

Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Participate in Political Forum at JSC

October 7, 2008

Three Vermont candidates for governor, Jim Douglas, Gaye Symington, and Anthony Pollina, shared their visions for Vermont and answered student questions in a forum held at the college on October 13, 2008. A standing-room only crowd was in attendance for what forum organizer, JSC Professor and State Senator Bill Doyle, described as the “top feature” of the election-themed political forum series held this fall at JSC.

The forum began with the candidates giving a five-minute presentation explaining why they want to be governor and outlining their vision for the state. Democratic Speaker of the House Gaye Symington spoke of getting Vermont back on track, reordering priorities in the state, uniting Vermonters of various positions and perspectives and encouraging public engagement. Independent candidate Anthony Pollina spoke of empowering farmers, workers and other Vermonters and “bringing them to the table” so that their needs and issues could be addressed. Incumbent Republican Governor Jim Douglas spoke of prioritizing higher education funding in the state, an economic growth plan, tax credits and an “innovation challenge.”

Students in Professor Doyle’s class then proceeded to ask the candidates about their positions on a variety of issues important to Vermonters, from the challenges posed by the current economic crisis, the downturn in the housing market, fuel and dairy prices, the projected crunch in temporary homeless shelters this coming winter, overcrowded jails, and sexual predators.

The college forums were started by Senator Bill Doyle (R-Washington County) in 1974. Doyle is a long-serving professor at the college, teaching a Vermont History and Government course.

The final forum in the JSC election series on Monday, October 20, will feature candidates for Secretary of State: incumbent Democrat Deb Markowitz, and challengers Eugene Bifano (R), of Warren, and Marjorie Power (P), of Montpelier.

Other forums in the series have featured candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Lamoille County Senate.

For more information, contact Bill Doyle at 371-7898.