Republicans in Disarray: GOP Primary for Gubernatorial Nomination Kicks Off

October 28, 2019


MONTPELIER, VT — Monday morning in Montpelier, John Klar — a local farmer and attorney — kicked off his campaign to challenge incumbent Governor Phil Scott for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

“Governor Scott has disappointed many of us. I voted for him twice and I am not going to vote for him a third time if he runs — he cannot be trusted to keep his word,” Klar said during his announcement.

While his name may not sound familiar, Klar is not a fresh-face in the world of Vermont politics. He is a regular author of opinion pieces in publications around the state, pieces loaded with right-wing talking points and divisive rhetoric. Rhetoric echoed at his announcement today.

In an April 2019 piece titled “The effect of extremist abortion laws on health care professionals,” published in True North Reports, Klar referred to abortion as infanticide, condemning Vermont lawmakers for passing H.57 — a new law guaranteeing free access to abortion services, which Scott did not oppose.

Further, just this September, Klar wrote a piece published by the same source, titled “Transgender surgery is the lobotomy of the 21st century.” In the piece Klar equates people who identify as transgender with those who have an addiction to drugs. He goes on to claim that trans people have a “paraphilic” disorder (a term used in place of sexual deviance or perversion). He goes on to mock the celebration of the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Christine Hallquist.

Vermont Democratic Party spokesperson, R. Christopher Di Mezzo, who was in attendance for Klar’s announcement, released the following statement:

“Mr. Klar and his divisive, close-minded, and downright disgusting rhetoric has no place in our public discourse. His voice is not one to be celebrated, rather, his place in our politics should be scrutinized from every angle.

“Mr. Klar’s candidacy is just one more example of the present and growing decay within the Vermont Republican Party. His campaign, while highly unlikely to gain any traction, is demonstrative of the division within his Party — a Party struggling to find a standardbarer, frustrated by their leaders, Governor Phil Scott and Party Chair Deb Billado.

“Every Republican on the ballot in 2020 should be forced to weigh in on Klar’s archaic stances. Silence in the face of his hateful rhetoric is nothing more than complicity. John Klar has no place in our politics.”




R. Christopher Di Mezzo
Director of Communications & Outreach
Vermont Democratic Party
(315) 368-3660
t | @rcdimezzo