In the race for lieutenant governor, Vermonters have the opportunity to choose a candidate who would bring an extraordinary amount of energy, intelligence and enthusiasm to the stateâ€™s number two job. That candidate is Democrat Matt Dunne.
Dunneâ€™s background as a public servant is stellar. First elected to the Vermont Legislature as a representative of Hartland and West Windsor at the age of 22, Dunne spent the next four terms in the House and was elected Assistant Majority Leader in 1998, making him the youngest whip in the nation at the time. Along with other leadership roles in the House, he served as vice-chair of the Transportation Committee. During his time in the House, Dunne was a marketing executive in various capacities, including as the marketing director for Logic Associates, a top 500 software company based in Wilder that served the commercial printing industry worldwide.
Following his House stint, Dunne took a break from politics and served two and a half years as the National Director of AmeriCorpsVISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Serving under Democratic and Republican administrations, Dunne oversaw approximately 6,000 AmeriCorpsVISTA members whose primary task is to assist Americans in poverty and help them learn how to succeed. During his brief time there, Dunne launched an Entrepreneur Corps, which sends VISTA members into low-income neighborhoods to help residents save money, purchase homes and start businesses â€” just the kind of progressive thinking this state and nation need.
Throughout his career as a small business owner, marketing executive, college administrator, legislator and AmeriCorpsVISTA director, Dunne has used his broad-range of experiences to effectively solve problems, push for innovative solutions, and think ahead in ways to benefit the stateâ€™s future economic growth. As a young representative, for example, he wrote legislation to encourage the reclamation and redevelopment of industrial brownfields. He also drafted legislation providing tax incentives, transportation dollars and regulatory changes to encourage investment in downtowns, and he founded the Vermont Film Commission to encourage motion picture producers and directors to make movies in Vermont â€” bringing a potentially important source of revenue to Vermont communities. In the Senate, Dunne has continued his push for economic development efforts, including creating legislation to provide grants to bring broadband to rural areas, drafting regulations to encourage foreign companies to locate in Vermont, and starting a seed capital fund to support home grown start up companies.
A lifelong resident of Hartland, he lives on the small farm where he grew up and has an inherent understanding of the challenges facing Vermontâ€™s farmers. In the legislature, he has been a champion of efforts to support young farmers, has helped draft legislation to exempt farm buildings from current use, and has been a promoter of Vermont agricultural products nationwide. A graduate of Hanover High School and Brown University with honors in Public Policy, Dunne has also received national honors from the American Legion for work on veterans issues. He lives with his wife, Sarah Stewart Taylor, and their one-year-old son, Judson.
On the issues, Dunneâ€™s approach has been to seek consensus where possible and push for reform and innovative thinking when needed. He supports a strong public-school system, womenâ€™s rights, legislation that protects and maintains Vermontâ€™s environmental ethic, and economic development policies that will ensure Vermont positions itself to reap the benefits of the new economy. He says Vermont is at a crossroads between economic growth and becoming a theme park for tourists and second-home owners, and he wants to be sure the state is primed for economic growth.
Incumbent Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie couldnâ€™t be a nicer guy, but his effectiveness has been limited by his part-time approach to the job (as have most other lieutenant governors before him) and his lack of legislative experience. To accomplish economic goals and help position the state to benefit from future growth, leaders need not only good intentions but also the time, energy, commitment and experience to draft appropriate legislation to achieve the stated objectives. Dubie has never pretended to be a political leader, nor has he show any deftness in drafting public policy. Dunne, on the other hand, has put his experience to work moving Vermont into the next economy.
For the breadth of his background, his unparalleled public service, his overall stand on the issues facing the state, and his economic vision for the state, we enthusiastically endorse Matt Dunne for lieutenant governor.
Angelo S. Lynn