Aly Johnson-Kurts - (802) 595-9593, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
Vermonters engaged in this year’s Governor’s race are wondering – where is Phil?
On February 9th, the campaign of Lt. Governor, and Republican candidate for governor, Phil Scott declined to attend two April 9th gubernatorial forums focused on issues facing working families. Scott’s challenger in the GOP primary, Bruce Lisman, as well as the three committed Democrats, Sue Minter, Matt Dunne, and Peter Galbraith have all confirmed their attendance.
“I'm not convinced my candidate would get fair and equal treatment at a forum hosted by a very liberal organization. Therefore, we would like to respectfully decline participation in your organization's forums,” wrote Scott Campaign Manager Brittney Wilson.
The email came less than a week after Rights & Democracy announced their endorsement of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for President. Prior to the Sanders endorsement, Scott’s campaign was amenable to attending Rights & Democracy events. Following a scheduling conflict in October, Wilson asked Rights & Democracy Executive Director James Haslam to “Please let [her] know if there are other opportunities in the future.”
Founded in 2015, Rights & Democracy has advocated on a limited number of legislative issues to date, most notably paid sick leave, which passed with tri-partisan support this March. The organization was founded to help working Vermonters have a voice, and a seat, at the table on important issues facing them and the state.
With the four other gubernatorial candidates ready to debate, and with Lisman already taking part in a previous forum that Scott declined to attend, it’s unclear why Scott is wary of attending these forums. Does he not support paid sick leave, or other issues that working Vermonters have declared important to them, their families, and their neighbors?
Vermonters want to know—Where is Phil?—on these, and other, important issues. The invitation to attend the forums remain open, if Scott is willing to make room in his schedule.