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Milne Says Low Budget Campaign Can Be Effective

VPR/Bob Kinzel
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Milne says he's hoping that his message of limited government will resonate with voters.

Four weeks after officially entering the Republican race for governor,  Pomfret businessman Scott Milne is beginning to put together the basic elements of his campaign.

"So we know we are going to be outgunned, we are going to be out spent, be out muscled, but I think the opportunity for us is to make sure we are not outsmarted." - GOP gubernatorial hopeful Scott Milne

Milne has hired the political director of the Vermont Republican Party, Brent Burns, to be his campaign manager and he says he’ll add several more staff positions in the weeks ahead.

Milne says he expects his overall campaign budget will be roughly $200,000.  This is far less than what Randy Brock,  the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate in 2012, spent on his campaign.  Brock raised almost $700,000 and he lent his campaign another $300,000s.

Milne says he’s also well aware that incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin has more than $1 million in his re-election campaign account.

“So we know we’re going to be outgunned, we’re going to be out spent, be out muscled,” said Milne. “But I think the opportunity for us is to make sure we’re not outsmarted.”

Milne says he’s hoping that his message of limited government will resonate with voters.

“I think it’s going to be coming up with a message that is based on what we are hearing from Vermonters,” said Milne. “And articulating it in a way that they’re going to decide that we’re a campaign and a candidate that’s going to get things done.”

The first campaign finance reports are due next Tuesday. Milne says his report will show that he’s raised roughly $25,000 and he expects some political analysts will scoff at this low number.

“We welcome the criticism of the pundits,” said Milne. “This is an election that’s going to prove that pundits don’t speak for Vermonters and that Vermonters can show up and vote and prove that they know what’s going on, they know what’s best for them without having somebody on the radio, the TV or the newspaper tell them what the truth is.”

Last week, Milne disclosed that 35 years ago, while in college, he was arrested twice for drinking and driving, and for the possession of a small amount of cocaine. He says he learned a valuable lesson from what he calls “an irresponsible time in my life.”

“I think I learned above all empathy and tolerance for other people and mistakes that they’ve made,” said Milne. “And that you need to sort of look at the big picture.”

Milne faces Emily Peyton and Steve Berry in the GOP gubernatorial primary at the end of August.

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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