By Lauren Rodgers
Gov. Peter Shumlin does not get the typical four-year break between elections enjoyed by most governors. In 2010, he won the governorship by a narrow margin, edging out then-Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie in the general election by a 1.8 point margin. And since Vermont holds it's elections every two years, he's up for re-election again in 2012.
Though early speculation pitted the Shumlin and Dubie against each other for a rematch, Dubie has declined to run again and has instead thrown his support behind Randy Brock, a state Senator and former auditor. Brock has come out attacking Shumlin's health care, immigration and public safety policies.
For better or worse, one of the most important events in Shumlin's term in office has been Hurricane Irene. His administration's response to the destruction the storm caused across the state garnered both positive and negative feedback from Vermonters, but Brock will be wise to steer clear of any direct attacks on Shumlin's efforts. Instead, he has alluded that Shumlin's desire to bring a single-payer health care system to Vermont impinges on the freedoms of individual citizens.