Bartlett's hat in the ring
By PETER HIRSCHFELD VERMONT PRESS BUREAU | June 05,2009
MONTPELIER – Sen. Susan Bartlett, a Hyde Park resident and longtime chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, has added her name to a growing list of Democrats seeking the state's top elected office in 2010.
Bartlett confirmed Thursday that she will run for governor next year, joining Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz and Chittenden County Senator Doug Racine as early candidates in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Several other Democrats have been mentioned as potential candidates, although they have not made their intentions known.
Gov. James Douglas, a Republican, has not said yet whether he plans to seek a fifth term next year.
Bartlett, who has held Lamoille County's lone Senate seat since 1992, said she waited for the conclusion of this year's dramatic budget process to confirm her intentions. She said she will make an official announcement later this summer.
"I just decided to wait until we finally got through the session to let folks know that I was definitely going to be a candidate," Bartlett said Thursday.
Bartlett, 62, has had a hand in crafting legislative budgets since she joined the Appropriations Committee in 1994. She played a key role this session in writing the first legislative budget ever to be vetoed by a governor. The House and Senate overrode that veto on Tuesday.
Bartlett said her budget-making experience has offered valuable perspective on state government and how it should be run.
"Appropriations is the only place in the Legislature where the job is to look at the whole of state government," she said. "Obviously Vermont and the country and the globe are going through some very difficult times. I think we need some leadership that understands how to look at the whole picture … and I think my experiences give me the qualifications for that kind of leadership."
Bartlett, a Massachusetts native, has lived in Vermont since she was a teenager. The former small-business owner has lived in Lamoille County since 1973. She lives with her husband, William.