Progressive Party of Vermont Organizing Slate of Candidates for 2012

The Progressive Party of Vermont is arguably one of the most successful state-level third parties in the United States, having elected multiple State Senators, State Representatives, etc. Now, the Progressive Party of Vermont is organizing its slate of candidates, especially statewide candidates, for 2012.

On the topic of Progressives, party Chairwoman Martha Abbott of Underhill said she’ll be a candidate for governor, Marjorie Powers of Montpelier is running for lieutenant governor and the party will support Doug Hoffer for auditor. Hoffer is running in the Democratic Party primary, but could win the Progressive line as a write-in in that party’s primary. No candidates have come forth yet for attorney general, secretary of state for U.S. House. The party will be backing Bernie Sanders for U.S. Senate.

Abbott said among her goals in running for governor are to nab the 5 percent to maintain major-party status and keep non-Progressives from running on the party’s line but also to influence the debate. She said she’ll decide after the primary whether to step down from the race.

Don Schramm of Burlington, Vt. is also running for Treasurer, having previously run for that office in 2008 and 2010.

14 thoughts on “Progressive Party of Vermont Organizing Slate of Candidates for 2012

  1. bruuno

    Any idea if they are nominating a Pres candidate? Seems like Rocky Anderson would be a natural fit

  2. Trent Hill Post author

    Bruuno–I doubt it. They very rarely do, though I’m not sure why not?

  3. Nick Kruse

    If they are going to nominate a Presidential candidate, it should be Jill Stein. She is the only progressive third party candidate that will be on a majority of state ballots.

  4. Gene Berkman

    The Progressive Party has only nominated a candidate for President once. In 2000 they provided the Vermont ballot line for Ralph Nader. who received 7% in the state.

    Otherwise the Progressive Party organization has been silent on the Presidential race, but prominent supporters have endorsed the Democrat.

    In 2004 Rep. Bernie Sanders wrote a front pae editorial in The Nation Magazine in favor of John Kerry.

    In 2008, Anthony Pollina and other Progressives endorsed Barack Obama.

    I expect most Progressives to vote for Obama this year.

  5. Deran

    I think like many people on the Left in the US the VT PP is no doubt very disillusioned with results of past support of Democrats, especially around Obama. Look at how the PP have put up reduced slates in the last couple rounds, now the PP are going for a much more visible and independent direction.

    They should not nominate Dr. Stein for president. I could sort of see Rocky Anderson, but not unless his campaign shows some real building power on a national level.

    I’ve always thought Anderson should have used the Progressive Party monicure in the first place instead of Justice Party.

  6. paulie

    I expect most Progressives to vote for Obama this year.

    Sad but true. He’s been terrible on peace, civil liberties and corporatism.

  7. paulie

    They should not nominate Dr. Stein for president.

    Why not?

    You’ve made cases against Obama and Anderson. Anyone else in mind? No one?

  8. bruuno

    I also agree about the Justice Party vs Progressive Party monikers. Justice Party just doesn’t have it in my mind and is too broad a term. Progressive gives some idea what they stand for and a historical context. By the way the Oregon Progressive PArty is running Anderson on their line.

  9. morgan

    We won’t be nominating a prez candidate. The primary reason is that we are focusing efforts on state-level candidates, where we can more effectively compete against the money, media, and brand loyalty of the Ds and Rs. And focusing on state-level policy battles–Vermont (or some other state) will get single payer healthcare (as an example) before we get it as a nation.

  10. Nick Kruse

    @10, I can understand if you want to focus the party’s resources on state elections. But the Vermont Progressive Party could still donate their presidential ballot access to a candidate they agree with. Since it only takes one little letter to the Vermont Secretary of State to give someone that ballot access, I don’t see why the party wants to waste that ballot spot. After you place them on the ballot, it is completely up to the party to decide if they want to use party volunteers and money to support the presidential nominee. You wouldn’t have to do that.

  11. Gene Berkman

    Nick @ 11 – I certainly don’t speak on behalf of the Vermont Progressives, or any other Progressives, but a brief response:

    Money and volunteers are not all that a party risks in backing a candidate. They also put their reputation on the line. The Vermont Progressive Party has been successful in electing state legislators, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is an alumnus of the Progressive Coalition that preceded the Progressive Party.

    Backing a third party candidate for President who lacks credentials, name recognition and resources would put the VPP at risk of appearing to be as lacking as the national candidate they back.

    Previously, the most successful state-wide third party was probably the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party (1922 to 1943) which elected Senators, Governors and Congressmen as well as maintaing a large bloc in the legislature.

    Only once did the MFLP back a third party candidate for President – LaFollette in 1924, who receive 17% nationwide and 41% in Minnesota.

    In 1928 the FLP took no stand in the Presidential race. In 1932, 1936 and 1940 the FLP backed FDR and the New Deal.

    If the Minnesota FLP had backed the Socialist Party ticket, as some in the FLP advocated, it would have lost many supporters in Minnesota who considered the SP a losing proposition.

  12. bruuno

    Thanks for the info Morgan.
    Gene @ 12- I hear what you are saying and you make a good point. However I find little downside in nominating Anderson who would be highly unlikely to be seen as an embarrassment though he may not get a ton of votes. I remember in 2000 the NY Independence Party nominated John Hagelin. I knew Frank McKay and never got any real explanation for the bizarre endorsement. Didn’t seem to hurt the Party though.

  13. Nick Kruse

    Gene @ 12, While I disagree with you, I do see your reasoning for not nominating a presidential candidate.

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