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Dems Look to Vermont for Donations

Progressive Vermonters say that while they can’t vote, their donations might help flip the seat.

Drew Gerber
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Drew Gerber
March 7, 2018, 10:34 a.m.

“Seven candidates are vying to win the Democratic nomination,” which “means candidates are looking for an edge, trying to find money and volunteers to help them pull ahead of the pack. Several candidates are now seeking that support across Lake Champlain in Vermont. In this year’s election, Vermont offers a big pool of untapped progressive energy and cash. On a recent afternoon,” former St. Lawrence County Legislator Tedra Cobb (D) “was in a café, talking with a half-dozen people about healthcare. … But this wasn’t a restaurant in the North Country. Cobb is talking to people in downtown Burlington, Vermont.”

Vermont native and event organizer Gordon Miller: “Vermonters are progressive. We can’t vote, but certainly we can provide financial support. I’m encouraging as many people in my circle to reach out and make a donation.”

“A lot of Vermonters are Democrats or liberals, and President Trump is deeply unpopular here. But Vermont’s congressional delegation already votes with the Democrats, already pulls hard against Trump’s agenda and against the Republicans. … Asked about the potential for drawing significant energy and money from the Vermont side of Lake Champlain, Cobb said, ‘It may [happen]. That wasn’t why I came today. Why I came today was to start building relationships, which is what I’ve done in this campaign, it’s to build relationships. And then to ask for support.’” Incumbent Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) “has raised more than $1.1 million for her reelection campaign, but North Country Public Radio found that at most only around 10% of that war chest was raised from inside her district.”

Businesswoman Katie Wilson (D) recently held a fundraiser at a home in Middlebury, Vermont. “This fundraiser was held to boost Katie Wilson from the town of Keene and it included a house full of potential donors from this liberal college town. … A lot of people at these events do have some ties across the lake, some history in the Adirondacks or a job that takes them back and forth across Lake Champlain. At this event, the author and activist Bill McKibben - who has a seasonal home near North Creek - said Vermonters know that money will be a big factor in November. ‘These things are always loaded, rigged,’ McKibben said. ‘There will be hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars from the Koch brothers and the RNC and whatever. Vermont always has its heart for the scrappy underdog.’ Katie Wilson, who has lagged behind the other front-tier Democrats in fundraising, says it makes sense for her to look for support wherever there are progressives interested in her message.”

Adirondack North Country Association Deputy Director Emily Martz (D) “said she too has visited other states as part of her campaign.” (North Country Public Radio)
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