With less than a week of campaigning left before Vermont’s Aug. 9 primary, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott earned the endorsement of one of the men hoping to replace him. Former Franklin County Sen. Randy Brock, the sole Republican running for lieutenant governor, endorsed Scott in Colchester Wednesday.
In his endorsement, Brock was careful not to say anything negative about Scott’s primary opponent, Bruce Lisman. Instead, he focused on defeating Democrats in November.
“I’ve known Phil for years,” Brock said in prepared remarks. “I served in the Senate alongside him and while he presided over it as lieutenant governor. His steady, quiet leadership is exactly what Vermonters need after six years of bombast, overpromises and underwhelming results.”
Brock’s remarks about Democratic majority rule are nothing new; in 2014, he challenged Shumlin in an unsuccessful bid to reelect the incumbent governor. While his endorsement of Scott was meant to buoy Scott’s campaign, Brock was unwilling to criticize Lisman or his increasingly negative campaign ads. Brock, for the most part, left that Scott himself.
“I felt that this was going to be a contested race from the very start,” Scott said, “but obviously with the amount of negative ads – and from my standpoint, deceitful ads – that have transpired over the last few weeks, it’s given me concern. And I want to make sure all our bases are covered. I want to fight right to the very end.”
The latest Lisman ad raised questions about government contracts won by Scott’s construction firm, DuBois Construction, while Scott has been serving as lieutenant governor.
Brock wasn’t willing to comment on the tone of the campaign.
“I’ve not gotten into the back-and-forth between the two campaigns,” he said. “Both these men are friends of mine, people I’ve known for a long time. They’re running a race and I’m not part of that race. However, it’s important, and one of the reasons that I’m out doing what I’m doing here today is I believe that leaders have to lead. You have to stand up, and you have to let people know where you stand on issues so that there’s no equivocation. I’ve made my decision, and that’s why I’m supporting Phil Scott. Because I believe Phil is the person best positioned to be our next governor and I support him.”
Brock said that he will support Bruce Lisman if Scott loses the primary.
“In the event that the primary goes in another direction, I will support Bruce Lisman,” he said. “Bruce is a very competent and capable guy as well in terms of his potential to lead the state. However, I’m endorsing Phil because I believe Phil is the best person to win this election.”