All this summer, VPR has been connecting you with the candidates for higher office, bringing you the latest from the campaigns. To help you prepare for Tuesday's primary, check out our new "Meet the Candidates" podcast and hear from the candidates on the top issues facing the state.
The presidential primaries are winding down, but for Vermont politicians primary season is just beginning. To give Vermonters a better sense of the people hoping to hold the state’s top office, VPR and Vermont’s Reddit community are planning AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with the candidates for governor to learn about their policy proposals and priorities for the state. This is in addition to live interviews with the candidates on Vermont Edition.
Whether you’re logged in or tuned in, here’s how you can pose your questions to (and, we hope, get answers from) the candidates:
- Wednesday, June 15, 12 p.m. – Vermont Edition with Sue Minter (D)
- Wednesday, June 15, 1:15 p.m. – Reddit AMA with Peter Galbraith (D)
- Monday, June 20, 12 p.m.* – Vermont Edition with Peter Galbraith (D)
- Wednesday, June 22, 12 p.m.* – Vermont Edition with Phil Scott (R)
- Thursday, June 23, 12 p.m.* – Vermont Edition with Matt Dunne (D)
- Friday, June 24, 12 p.m.* – Vermont Edition with Bruce Lisman (R)
- Wednesday, June 29, 11 a.m. – Reddit AMA with Matt Dunne (D)
- Wednesday, July 6, 12 p.m. — Vermont Edition with Shap Smith (D)
- Thursday, July 7, 9:15 a.m. – Reddit AMA with Phil Scott (R)
- Thursday, July 7, 12 p.m. — Vermont Edition with Kesha Ram (D)
- Friday, July 8, 12 p.m. — Vermont Edition with David Zuckerman (D)
- Tuesday, July 12, 9:30 a.m. – Reddit AMA with Bruce Lisman (R)
- Thursday, July 14, 12 p.m. — Reddit AMA with Brooke Paige (D)
- Friday, July 15, 12:30 p.m. — Reddit AMA with Sue Minter (D)
*You can tune in and call in to Vermont Edition during the candidate interviews to pose your questions or comments on-air during the 12:00 to 1:00 hour. If you miss the noontime broadcast, Vermont Edition is also rebroadcast every evening at 7 p.m.
Not on Reddit? Not a problem.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit AMAs, here’s how that works:
A post on Reddit will go online shortly before the AMA, and anyone with a Reddit account is welcome to post questions for the candidate.
Each participating candidate will come in to VPR’s headquarters and sign into an account on Reddit.com at the scheduled time. For the following hour, the candidate will be responding to questions from Reddit users (Redditors). If the candidate chooses, a fast-typing staffer will be the one doing the actual typing, but a VPR producer will be on hand to make sure the candidate is the one giving the answers.
“AMA” stands for “Ask Me Anything.” The goal is to give anyone with internet access a chance to ask candidates questions that might help the user or other voters decide which candidate best represents their interests. If there are too many questions to answer in an hour, the candidates will choose which ones they answer.
Our goal is to make sure important questions don’t get dodged or go unanswered. With that in mind, a VPR reporter will sit down with each candidate for a few minutes after the AMA to ask some follow-up questions. Then we’ll be sure to circle back on the Reddit comment thread to let people know what was said.
If you want to participate, but you’ve never used Reddit, don’t worry. It’s free and fast to sign up. You can create an account here.
If you want to participate in an AMA, just navigate your web browser to Reddit.com/r/Vermont (that’s a section of the site dedicated to Vermont-based users and issues) and look for the AMA post; it’ll be hard to miss. We’ll also post links to the AMAs on Twitter when it’s time, so you can follow us there as well. To ask a question, make sure you’re logged in, then type in your question in the comments box below the headline and click “save.” Your comment or question will be posted right away.
We invited all candidates who have officially qualified to be on the ballot for governor to participate in AMAs, and candidates chose their own dates and times. Cris Ericson (D) declined the invitation. We're still hoping to set up an AMA with Bill "Spaceman" Lee, who will be on the general election ballot in November as a Liberty Union candidate.