T.J. Donovan

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Donovan takes AG race

BURLINGTON — Democrat T.J. Donovan cruised to victory Tuesday over Republican Deb Bucknam and will become the state’s next attorney general in January. Donovan, 42, was easily outpacing Bucknam with 62 of 276 voting districts reporting results to the Associated Press. Donovan had a lead of 63 percent to 33 percent and Bucknam conceded the race shortly after 9 p.m.

Donovan will replace Attorney General Bill Sorrell, who chose not to seek re-election after he was first appointed to the position by former Democratic Gov. Howard Dean 19 years ago. Donovan said the race “was about the issues and we did it the Vermont way.”

“Thank you, Deb Bucknam,” he said. He noted his narrow loss to Sorrell in a Democratic primary four years ago, but said he and his supporters continued “to fight to level the playing field for all Vermonters” since then. Continue Reading →

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Minter, Zuckerman see fundraising boost from Sanders plea

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter continued to outpace Republican rival Phil Scott in fundraising during the critical period just ahead of Election Day, according to disclosure reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office Friday. While the outcome of the gubernatorial election remains in question, one thing abundantly clear is that the candidates and their allies had plenty of money to ensure their messages were received by voters. Minter reported Friday that her campaign raised $446,312 in the 20-day reporting period between Oct. 13 and Nov. 1. Continue Reading →

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Sanders rallies for Minter, Democrats

MONTPELIER — Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his political revolution home to Vermont Friday night, rallying Vermont Democrats in support of the party’s statewide candidates and boosting the campaign of gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter who is locked in a tie race. Sanders, whose presidential campaign soared high enough to provide Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton with a serious challenge in the primary, played the roll of emcee, introducing each statewide candidate at the podium. He also shared an abridged version of the stump speech he bellowed out across the country during his presidential campaign. “Nationally, democracy is, in fact, being threatened by Citizen’s United and by billionaires all over this country who intend to do everything they can to buy elections. In Vermont, we are saying you are not going to buy this election. Continue Reading →

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VPR poll shows tied gubernatorial race

MONTPELIER — Republican Phil Scott and Democrat Sue Minter are locked in a tie race for governor with three weeks to go and 14 percent of voters undecided, according to a Vermont Public Radio poll conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute released Wednesday. According to the poll results, Scott, the incumbent lieutenant governor, has a 1 percentage point lead over Sue Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation — 39 percent to 38 percent. Liberty Union candidate Bill Lee, a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, received 2 percent support. But 14 percent of the likely voters polled said they have yet to make up their mind. The poll of 650 likely voters has a 3.8 percent margin of error and includes live interviews from a mix of cell and land line phones. Continue Reading →

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Sanders hitting the trail for Dems in Vermont

MONTPELIER — Sen. Bernie Sanders will begin putting his star power to work on behalf of gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter and other Democratic candidates this weekend with six events around the state. Sanders, Vermont’s independent U.S. senator who won the state’s Democratic presidential primary over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in March with 86 percent of the vote, has been slow to help Vermont Democrats. But after issuing a news release Thursday in which he endorsed the Democratic slate of statewide candidates, he is finally hitting the campaign trail with them, according to Minter’s campaign. Sanders will hold the first of six planned events on Friday at 5 p.m. at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ Alumni Hall in Montpelier. On Saturday, Sanders will take part in a 9 a.m. get out the vote event somewhere in Addison County and rallies in Bennington and Rutland. Continue Reading →

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Sanders finally backs Minter, statewide Dems

MONTPELIER — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has finally proffered his coveted endorsement to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter and the entire slate of statewide Democratic candidates. Sanders, easily the most popular politician in the state, announced his endorsements in a news release Thursday afternoon without any fanfare. They include U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, his colleagues in Congress. For state offices, Sanders is backing Treasurer Beth Pearce, Auditor Doug Hoffer, Secretary of State Jim Condos and T.J. Donovan for attorney general. Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman, the Democratic and Progressive nominee for lieutenant governor, was previously endorsed by Sanders. Continue Reading →

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Minter raises more than Scott but is being outspent

MONTPELIER — The Democratic nominee for governor out-raised her Republican opponent in the last few weeks, but was heavily outspent as the general election campaign began, according to financial disclosure reports filed by candidates and political groups Thursday. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter reported raising $102,000 in the 16 days since the last mandated reporting deadline on Aug. 15. She spent about $68,000 in the same time frame and now has about $85,000 cash-on-hand. Among Minter’s donors since winning the Democratic nominee are Jake and Donna Carpenter, of Burton Snowboards, who donated $2,700 each. Continue Reading →

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Bucknam launches bid for AG

MONTPELIER — Republican Deborah Bucknam has entered the race for attorney general and will challenge T.J. Donovan, the Democratic state’s attorney for Chittenden County, for the office. Bucknam, 69, from Walden, officially announced her candidacy Monday and plans to hold a formal kick-off in the near future where she will outline the themes of her campaign. On Monday, Bucknam said her experience as an attorney in Vermont spurred her desire to run. “I’ve been practicing law for 37 years and representing mostly individuals and some small businesses, and I just see the effect of the justice system and Vermont state government on individuals. In recent years I haven’t really liked what I’ve seen,” she said. Continue Reading →

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Exclusive: Investigation report recommends no action against Attorney General Bill Sorrell

MONTPELIER — A report completed by a lawyer appointed to investigate alleged illegal campaign finance activity and other actions by Democratic Attorney General William Sorrell and reviewed by a panel of county state’s attorneys does not recommend any sanctions or penalties, according to a draft report of his findings obtained exclusively by the Vermont Press Bureau. The investigation, conducted by independent counsel Thomas A. Little, “took its scope from the six allegations of the Complaint” filed by attorney Brady Toensing, the vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party. Four allegations investigated by Little involved campaign finance laws, one allegation involved violations of federal and state criminal statutes and one allegation involved a conflict of interest. Little, who declined to comment on the report Thursday, was tasked with reporting his findings for review to a bipartisan group of eight state’s attorneys that form a new Campaign Finance Review Committee. That committee was to review Little’s investigative findings and determine if any action against Sorrell was warranted. Continue Reading →

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T.J. Donovan to run for AG

MONTPELIER — Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan says he will run for attorney general regardless of whether longtime incumbent Bill Sorrell decides to seek re-election. Donovan, 41, came close to knocking off Sorrell in a 2012 Democratic primary for the state’s top law enforcement position. Donovan lost to Sorrell, who was appointed to the position in 1997 by former Gov. Howard Dean and has won re-election each cycle since, by just 714 votes. Donovan opted to sit out the 2014 race and instead concentrated on his work in Chittenden County. That work has garnered plenty of attention statewide and has served, in some cases, as pilot projects for the state. Continue Reading →

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