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Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe Announces 2020 Run For Lieutenant Governor

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe sits below two paintings hanging on a wall
Elodie Reed
VPR File
Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe during a media availability in his office on Tuesday, the opening day of the 2020 legislative session. The following day, 'Seven Days' reported Ashe was running for lieutenant governor.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe is planning to run for lieutenant governor. Seven Days first reported his decision Wednesday morning.

Ashe said he will declare his candidacy if, as widely expected, Lt. Gov David Zuckerman decides to run for governor. 

"If David makes his decision to run for governor on Monday, then I would — I've made it clear to the people in the Senate that I will be running for lieutenant governor," Ashe said on Wednesday's Vermont Edition.

Zuckerman told reporters Tuesday he'd make an announcement next week on his decision. 

(Editor's update: Zuckerman announced on Jan. 13 that he's running for governor.)

Ashe, who represents Chittenden County, has been in the Vermont Senate since 2009 and has served as president pro tempore since 2017. He told VPR's Bob Kinzel that he's ready to address issues on a statewide basis.

"Be able to go around the state, get out of the Statehouse, freed from the management of the day to day of the Senate and be able to kind of cultivate the ideas and bring them back into the process here in Montpelier," Ashe said. "And the lieutenant governor's office is an opportunity to do that. You have a much bigger platform to bring people together on all of the key issues that I care about."

But should he run, Ashe said he remains committed to his responsibilities in the Senate this session.

"I've told members of the Senate that they should expect the exact same style and work and respect for the fact that I speak for the Senate, not for myself," Ashe said on Vermont Edition, "and that's exactly what they'll get." 

Ashe, along with House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, joined Vermont Edition Wednesday to discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Ashe said he is concerned about income inequality and that he wants Vermont to join a regional plan to deal with climate change.

Updated 3:41 p.m. With comments from Ashe to VPR (previously updated at 12:37 p.m. to clarify about Ashe's decision in regard to Zuckerman's plans).

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