Bob Kinzel

Host, Reporter

Bob is a veteran Vermont journalist, specializing in political reporting. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse. Prior to joining VPR full time in 2002, Bob ran the Vermont News Service for 21 years. The service provided daily local news for eleven stations, including VPR. Bob started the News Service following a stint as news director for WNCS.

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With less than a month before election day, "Vermont Edition" looks at how the races are shaping up and what are the key issues.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

In less than four weeks, Vermonters will choose candidates for statewide and legislative offices. Our panel of political pundits will look at the major issues in the campaigns for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House.

Discussing how these campaigns have unfolded this year are:

Beth Pearce, an incumbent Democrat, seeks another two-year term as state treasurer in the Nov. 6 election.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce was appointed to the job in late 2010, and has been re-elected three times on the Democratic ticket. In all, she's spent more than 40 years working in government finance.

An incumbent Democrat, Pearce spoke with Vermont Edition about why she wants another two-year term. 

Blue-green algae blooms, photographed in the summer of 2014 in Lake Champlain.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR FILE

Both of Vermont's major party gubernatorial candidates say they support a long-term plan to clean up Lake Champlain and other waterways in Vermont, but neither candidate is offering a plan to pay for it.

Incumbent Doug Hoffer is seeking his fourth term as Vemront's State Auditor.
Henry Epp / VPR FILE

As part of VPR's series of interviews with candidates for statewide office, Vermont Edition spoke with Doug Hoffer, who is seeking his fourth term as state auditor. Hoffer took the time to explain the role of his office.

Incumbent Peter Welch is seeking his seventh term in Congress. He was first elected in 2006 after Bernie Sanders decided to run for the open Senate seat.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR FILE

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Peter Welch is running for his seventh term in the U.S. House. As part of VPR's series of interviews with candidates for this seat, Welch joins Vermont Edition to discuss the key issues in the race, including health care and the Farm Bill.

A blue hospital monitoring line that turns into a dollar symbol.
hh5800 / iStock

Vermont's two major party candidates for governor — Republican incumbent Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic nominee Christine Hallquist — have sharp disagreements on the path Vermont should take to make health care more affordable in the short term. Yet the two candidates view the long-term solution in a similar way.

Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Amy Klobuchar standing, conversing with a flag behind them.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

As the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy plays a key role in the panel's review of allegations — and Leahy said he believes the allegations of sexual assault brought against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are true.

Secretary Of State Jim Condos is seeking his fifth term in that office in the Nov. 6 election.
Darron Cummings / Associated Press

After serving four terms as Vermont’s Secretary of State, Jim Condos says there is still unfinished business he would like to accomplish. That's why he is seeking a fifth term in office and will be the Democratic candidate on the ballot on Vermont's Nov. 6 election.

Anya Tynio is challenging incumbent Rep. Peter Welch for Vermont's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Political newcomer Anya Tynio is using her first run for political office to try to unseat six-term incumbent Democrat Peter Welch in the Nov. 6 election.

At 25 years old, Tynio is the youngest an individual can be to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. She says her fresh perspective is an advantage for taking on big issues facing Vermont and the country.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Brett Kavanaugh.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Following the release of a sworn affidavit containing new sexual misconduct allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Patrick Leahy and his fellow Judiciary Committee Democrats are calling on President Donald Trump to either withdraw Kavanaugh's nomination or launch an FBI investigation into the allegations of misconduct and assault.

Secretary of State Jim Condos wants to make it easier for Vermonters to appeal a denial of a public records request
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Secretary of State Jim Condos is backing an effort to give Vermonters easier access to public records.

After allegations of sexual assault have arisen against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, his path to approval has gotten murky.
Jacquelyn Martin / AP FILE

The recent confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been controversial. And now the Senate Judiciary Committee — of which Sen. Patrick Leahy is the seniormost member — is trying to decide how to review allegations of sexual assualt that have been brought against Kavanaugh by professor Christine Blasey Ford.

Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman is running for re-election as Vermont's Lieutenant Governor.
Ric Cengeri / VPR FILE

As the Nov. 6 election starts to come into view, we're hearing from major-party candidates seeking statewide offices. Incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman joins us to share his legislative priorities.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says GOP leaders are blocking the release of key information concerning allegations of sexual assault brought against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Sen. Patrick Leahy is accusing Senate Republican leaders of trying to block an investigation into the facts around allegations of sexual assault that have been brought against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks with arms outstretched in front of a bright blue screen at a podium at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

At the urging of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Democratic National Committee has taken steps to reduce the influence of so-called "superdelegates" in the party's presidential nomination process.

Wilson Ring says hello to Murphy the Dog after the pooch's odyssey of more than a year finally came to an end.
Lucy Ring

In early 2016, a collective sigh of relief could be heard from the town of Waterbury when Murphy the Dog was caught and returned to its owners. For a year and a half, the community pulled together in an effort to find this amazing golden retriever. His odyssey is now an e-book called Catching Murphy, written by long-time Associated Press reporter Wilson Ring.

From left: Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, Rep. Peter Welch and Agency of Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille at a Montpelier press conference on Tuesday announcing their support for an expanded Medicaid fraud bill.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Rep. Peter Welch said he's optimistic that his bipartisan bill that expands the authority of state Medicaid Fraud Units will soon be passed by Congress — and Vermont officials say the bill will give them greater ability to investigate a wide range of fraud cases.

More senior citizens die by falling than in motor vehicle accidents annually in Vermont.
Zinkevych / iStock

It's a startling fact. Each year, more people 65 or older in Vermont die from falls than in motor vehicle crashes. So learning how to prevent or survive falls is an important skill to learn, especially for our senior citizens.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, left, and Sen. John McCain, talk during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington in March 2017. Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, with his wife Evgenia Kara-Murza, are to the right.
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Arizona Sen. John McCain died Saturday, Aug. 25, at 81, and all this week the passing of the former naval airman, Vietnam veteran, senator and past presidential nominee has been marked with ceremonies and memorials from Arizona to Washington, D.C.

Many of McCain's Congressional colleagues have reflected on his life and career, including Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who worked alongside McCain for 32 years in the U.S. Senate.

State highway safety officials say increasingly aggressive drivers and texting while driving continue to plague Vermont's roads.
SHSPhotography / iStock

Vermont is seeing more cases of aggressive driving on its roads. And more drivers are using cell phones while driving, even though it's against the law.  We're talking with highway safety officials about how they're addressing these issues. 

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