NORTHEAST KINGDOM — The entire delegation of Northeast Kingdom Republican legislators is backing Phil Scott for governor.
“Phil Scott is, without a doubt, the right candidate to lead Vermont forward,” Caledonia County Sen. Joe Benning said this week.
“I’m confident that as governor, Phil will place Vermont back on the right track toward economic prosperity,” said Rep. Vicky Strong, R-Orleans-Caledonia.
Lt. Gov. Scott of Berlin, a businessman and former long-time legislator, is running against retired Wall Street businessman Bruce M. Lisman of Shelburne in the Republican Party primary Aug. 9.
On the Democratic side, with Gov. Peter Shumlin not running again, five Democrats are running: Matt Dunne, Chris Ericson, Peter Galbraith, H. Brooke Paige and Sue Minter.
Whoever wins the party primaries will compete in the general election.
Scott appeared with many Republican lawmakers during the legislative session who gathered to show support for his candidacy.
This week, the Scott campaign revealed the extent of the support in parts of Vermont, and especially in the NEK, where lawmakers representing every town in the Kingdom are backing him.
In Caledonia County, Benning is joined by Reps. Scott Beck and Janssen Willhoit, both of St. Johnsbury, Richard Lawrence and Marty Feltus, both of Lyndon, and Marcia Martel of Waterford.
In Orleans County, joining Strong of Albany are Reps. Loren Shaw and Lynn Batchelor of Derby, Mark Higley of Lowell, Michael Marcotte of Coventry and Gary Viens of Newport City.
In Essex County, both Republican representatives, Paul Lefebvre of Island Pond and Constance Quimby of Concord, are backing Scott.
“Phil is honest, his word is his bond,” said Viens who serves the Orleans-2 towns of Newport City to Irasburg. “Phil works extremely well with all parties in a way which serves all Vermonters, not just some Vermonters or one party.”
Benning and other NEK Republican lawmakers said they like how Scott focuses on Vermonters.
“Phil has led a campaign that puts Vermonters first,” Shaw said.
“While some of his opponents have engaged in D.C. tactics in an attempt to spread falsehoods about his record, Phil has run a positive campaign focused on Vermonters,” Quimby said.
“As governor, he will be a champion for addressing the growing crisis of affordability and restoring faith and trust in state government,” Lefebvre said.
“As governor, Phil will put Vermont back on the path toward economic growth,” Benning said.
Benning and the Caledonia County representatives said Scott always works toward a compromise with all sides.
“It’s an honor to have the support,” Scott said in a statement Friday about the NEK Republican delegation.
He called them “fierce advocates” for the Kingdom and for all Vermonters.
“They can be confident that, as governor, I will make growing the economy my top priority, and will work tirelessly to make Vermont more affordable, reduce the barriers to job creation, and restore faith and trust in government.”
The NEK Republican delegation joins 50 other Republican lawmakers who have endorsed Scott, according to his campaign.
Early voting has begun for the party primaries.
A bi-partisan gubernatorial debate called the Kingdom County Forum will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Dr. Ron Holland’s riding arena in Irasburg. Scott and Lisman and Dunne, Galbraith and Minter have agreed to attend.