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Mulvaney-Stanak To Lead Progressive Party

VPR/Melody Bodette
Progressive Party chair Emma Mulvaney-Stanak.

Vermont’s Progressive Party has a new leader. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak was picked to lead the party at their annual meeting over the weekend.

Mulvaney-Stanak takes over from long-time party leader Martha Abbott, who has decided to step down after 12 years as head of the party.

Martha Abbott recently told Vermont Edition that she was stepping down to focus on fundraising. She was elected party treasurer this weekend. Mulvaney-Stanak told VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb that the party is in good financial health.

“We are in the black and we raised $6,500 in Martha’s honor. So I think we’re moving in the right direction. People are excited about new people in the party and I think we’re really the next chapter for the party,” Mulvaney-Stanak said.

Last election cycle, the party did not field a candidate to challenge Governor Peter Shumlin. Mulvaney-Stanak says it’s too early to know if the party will have a candidate next year.

“It’s the party’s decision to make, we’re not even in the election cycle yet. However I think it’s important for any statewide office holder to be held accountable when they don’t take up issues related to our party platform. And the central theme of our platform is economic justice,” Mulvaney-Stanak said.

“I don’t think I’ll be running for governor, but the question really remains open if the Progressives want to field someone.”

Mulvaney-Stanak said she’d like to focus on recruiting people to run for local House and Senate races.

“I think we build out a healthier party when we have more people in the state House and Senate. I think that’s where the exciting recruitment can be because there’s a lot of Progressives in towns who are really respected by their neighbors and we just have to find them and encourage and support them to run,” Mulvaney-Stanak said.

The party has one-elected statewide officer, Auditor Doug Hoffer. 

Mulvaney-Stanak said she’s excited to take on the leadership role in the party.

“It’s great to have another woman leader of this party. And I hope to also bring some youthful energy and perspective to help energize people in the party,” Mulvaney-Stanak said.

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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