Re-elect the governor

Republican gubernatorial candidate Senator Randy Brock has faced long odds since he decided to challenge incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin.

The governor, who squeaked by in a tough five-way Democratic Primary two years ago, edged Senator and former Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine, then-Secretary of State Deb Markowitz and former state lawmaker and Google executive Matt Dunne by a few percentage points.

He then narrowly defeated then-Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie by a few percentage points in the general election. Yet, from the moment he took the reins as governor amid a deep recession, Mr. Shumlin, a longtime state senator from southeastern Vermont, has seemed firmly in charge.

He began by quickly assembling, like President Lincoln, a team of rivals. He named Mr. Racine and Ms. Markowitz to top administration posts and later named Mr. Dubie as a Vermont representative, or "ambassador," to Canada.

Only months into his first term, Governor Shumlin and the administration also had to face Tropical Storm Irene, one of the most destructive storms in Vermont's history. He has been forceful in dealing with the storm, the widespread damage around Vermont and the aftermath, including the staggering costs incurred by individuals and communities.

Because of the leadership Governor Shumlin has shown over a difficult two years in office, and for his emphasis on moving Vermont away from fossil fuels and toward alternate forms of energy and energy conservation, he deserves a second term.

Mr. Brock was an effective state auditor and senator, but he hasn't made a credible case for replacing Governor Shumlin. In fact, his Republican Party, which he has failed to break from on most issues, has pushed an anti-government mantra unsuccessfully for years while Democrats have built up large majorities in each chamber of the Legislature.

Some year, no doubt, a Republican candidate for statewide office will offer Vermonters an alternative to the Democrats that they can support in larger numbers. But 2012 is not that year.

Governor Shumlin should be re-elected on Nov. 6.


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