Jeffersonville Democrat John Bauer, 57, is seeking his party's nomination to challenge Republican Phil Scott for lieutenant governor.
Bauer will run on economic and environmental issues, but his campaign will likely be defined by pushback against money in politics.
"I think that money in politics is a very serious issue," he said.
He plans to publicly finance his campaign in order to avoid soliciting money from the "usual suspects," Bauer said. To do that he will need to raise at least $17,500 in donations of no more than $50 from 750 people - and no more than 25 percent can come from any one county. He would then qualify for public financing up to $50,000 for a primary race and $150,000 for the general election.
Bauer has been involved with the state Democratic Party since 2002 when he managed Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding's successful run for treasurer. Most recently, he managed Susan Bartlett's failed bid for governor in 2010.
The father of two is the sound supervisor at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and a part-time wedding DJ for Peak Entertainment.
He received some support from within the Democratic Party after his announcement, Bauer said, but he is unsure whether he will have competition in the primary.
"John hasn't officially filed any paperwork for candidacy, but we've definitely talked with him about his run," said Julia Barnes, director of the Vermont Democratic Party.
No other candidates have formally expressed interest in running for lieutenant governor, she said, but the Democratic Party won't throw its support behind a candidate until after the primary.
If he makes it to the general election, Bauer acknowledged that it will be difficult to overcome the name recognition gap between himself and Scott.