With Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman having declared he is running for governor, former Representative and Milton Town Manager Don Turner is considering another run at the state’s number two position.
Turner lost to Zuckerman in 2018.
Asked if he would run again, Turner answered, “I love what I’m doing, but I’m not ruling it out.”
However, he was also clear his decision won’t be a hasty one. “It’s nothing I’m going to decide in the next week,” he said.
At the top of his list of things to consider is Milton. “I love what I’m doing here. We have a great team,” Turner said, adding he is looking at how his running might impact that team.
“I want to stay working here. We’ve got a lot going on,” he added.
Turner’s contract with the town does contain provisions allowing him to serve as lieutenant governor and remain town manager. However, “there’s a lot that has to be put into how it would work,” he said.
During his talk with the Independent, Turner repeatedly said how much he loves his work in Milton. “Every day I come to work we make a difference,” Turner said.
He wasn’t previously considering a run in 2020, but an open seat changes the dynamics of the race. “It’s just really hard to beat an incumbent,” he said.
But even with an open seat, there is the challenge of running as a Republican in Vermont in a presidential election year. Turnout is higher when the president is on the ballot, and in Vermont that often means more Democrats go to the polls.
At the same time, Turner is skeptical voters would put Zuckerman and Senate President Pro-Tempore Tim Ashe, who has said he will seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, into the state’s two highest offices. “I just can’t believe Vermont will vote in two progressives,” he said, pointing out that Vermont often elects one Democrat and one Republican to those offices.
“I’m definitely going to take a look at it all,” Turner said.
While he’s undecided about his own future, Turner is confident about the man who will be at the top of the Republican ticket. “I think Phil Scott is going to be hard to beat.”
UPDATE: This story was updated on Monday, Jan. 13 to indicate that Lt. Gov. Zuckerman had formally announced his candidacy for governor.