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If Gov. Phil Scott runs for reelection, he will remain a Republican

 A man in a suit speaks at a wooden podium. Behind him is a landscape painting and an American flag and a Vermont flag.
Bob Kinzel
Vermont Public
Gov. Phil Scott speaks at a news conference in May.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's considering two major factors as he decides whether to run for a fifth term in office.

The Republican says he's weighing what he feels is his responsibility to offer a fiscal balance to the agenda of Democrats at the Statehouse with his desire to return to private life after serving as governor for eight years.

"I do think the Legislature's moving in the wrong direction at times, spending much more than we're taking in, and I think it's leading us to a more unaffordable Vermont," Scott said Wednesday, "but I'd also like to drive again — so I'd like to have my life back. So you have to weigh those two things out."

If Scott does stay in politics, he says he will continue to run as a Republican despite his strong differences with the "Trump" wing of the Party.

Scott has been a frequent critic of former president Donald Trump. In 2016 he said he would write in the name of former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas rather than vote for Trump, and in the 2020 presidential election Scott said he voted for Joe Biden, the first time in his life he'd voted for a Democrat.

"I've been a Republican since I got started in politics," Scott said. "I don't believe at this point in time that there's any sense in me changing parties or doing something different. We need more centrists and moderates involved in politics on both sides of the aisle."

Scott says he expects to make a decision by early spring. Several Democrats, including Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Starksboro Rep. Caleb Elder, have indicated they're exploring a run for governor next year.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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