David Zuckerman is seeking reelection to lieutenant governor’s office

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman announced his bid for reelection to the state’s second-highest executive office on Thursday. (VtDigger file - Riley Robinson)

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman announced his bid for reelection to the state’s second-highest executive office on Thursday. (VtDigger file - Riley Robinson) Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman — VtDigger file - Riley Robinson

By SARAH MEARHOFF

VtDigger

Published: 05-04-2024 5:01 PM

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman wants to hold onto his gig.

The Hinesburg Progressive/Democrat announced his bid for reelection to the state’s second-highest executive office in a press release Thursday morning, writing that he is “not done fighting for Vermonters.”

“This is a critical moment for our state,” the longtime farmer-politician continued, pointing to Vermont’s worsening affordability, health care costs, housing crisis, climate change and “rising regressive property taxes that are crushing working class people.”

Zuckerman stepped back into the role of lieutenant governor last election cycle. Prior to his current tenure, he served in the job for two terms, from 2017 to 2021, before leaving the post to unsuccessfully challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott for the state’s top job.

With his reelection announcement Thursday, Zuckerman largely quashed any rumors that he would try to make the jump to higher office this year, either again to the governor’s office or to Washington.

With a two-year term, a lieutenant governor’s most vital task — taking over for an incapacitated or deceased governor — only comes when disaster strikes (or when the governor is out of town). But the day-to-day role of lieutenant governor in Vermont is largely ceremonial and has been used by some in the past as a stepping stone to higher office.

During the legislative session, the lieutenant governor presides over Vermont’s Senate chamber, only able to cast votes to break ties. Outside of the session, Zuckerman and others before him have acted as a liaison between Vermont’s state government and the citizens, conducting on-the-ground statewide listening tours on a variety of topics. Most recently, Zuckerman has done so with his own Banned Book Tour, during which he has toured the state reading aloud books which have been banned from schools and libraries in other states for political reasons.

“We need leadership that works with our communities to find solutions and that is what I have been doing in Montpelier as a state representative, state senator, and as your lieutenant governor,” Zuckerman wrote in his statement Thursday.

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With Zuckerman’s reelection announcement Thursday, only one incumbent statewide executive official has yet to announce his reelection plans: Scott. The governor has told reporters that he will do so after the current legislative session concludes. The deadline for major party candidates to declare is May 30.

The state’s other statewide executive office holders — Attorney General Charity Clark, State Treasurer Mike Pieciak, Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas and all Democrats — have already launched their reelection campaigns. State Auditor Doug Hoffer, a Democrat/Progressive, told NBC5 in late March that he plans to run for one final term this fall. The election landscape starkly contrasts that of 2022, when four of Vermont’s six statewide executive officeholders opted to leave their seats.