Not challenging Shumlin may not be an option for progressives in 2014

by Robert Maynard

Last week TNR ran a story about the trouble that has been building up for Governor Shumlin on his left flank among capital P Progressives and small p progressives within the Democratic Party.  This trouble has reached the point of talk about a possible progressive challenge to Governor Shumilin 2014.  Such discussion was the subject of this Vermont Digger article.  Amongst all the discussion among progressives of both stripes over whether to challenge Governor Shumlin in 2014, is a comment by retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis hints that they may not have an option not to challenge Shumlin:

But there are enough people looking for an alternative on the ballot that Davis doesn’t think what he calls the “Martha Abbott 2012 strategy” (Abbott ran in the primary but withdrew her bid in support of Shumlin) will suffice for the Progressives in 2014.

Party officials say they are a long way from making a decision, but the discussions have started — Thursday, the party asked followers on Twitter to weigh in on whether they should field a candidate.

In other words, the Progressive Party leadership this time around is not likely going to be able to sabotage a challenge to Shumlin from the left on their Party’s ticket.  They are probably going to have to get out in front of this dissent on the left and lead it if they want to remain relevant in Vermont politics.  Again, this is a golden opportunity for the forces of liberty in Vermont.