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RELEASE: VDP Chair Lezak Condemns Phil Scott’s Partisan Power Grab

June 23, 2022

Contact: Jim Dandeneau

Executive Director

Vermont Democratic Party

For Immediate Release

News from the Vermont Democratic Party

Montpelier, VT - Vermont Democratic Party Chair Anne Lezak released the following statement in response to Republican Governor Phil Scott’s unprecedented appointment of Republican Susanne Young to finish the term of departing Democratic Attorney General T. J. Donovan:

“Whether this appointment is an attempt to undermine Democratic efforts to fight for affordable prescriptions and against climate change or due to another political agenda, Governor Scott has flaunted decades of bipartisan tradition to install a former Republican aide over the Attorney General’s capable, statutory deputy,” said Lezak.

“This follows Scott recently declining to fill Addison or Rutland County State's Attorney vacancies, in Addison's case over the express wishes of the Addison County Democrats, who did not support the interim State's Attorney Scott left in place. Scott’s reasoning was ‘as much about stability as anything else,’ Scott spokesperson Jason Maulucci told VT Digger.

Yet, Scott chose to replace the Attorney General's highly qualified, long-serving deputy with an Acting Attorney General who has had nothing to do with the office for years.

I guess ‘stability’ and six years of 'keeping with tradition' all goes out the window when there's a Republican power grab to be had.”

Below is a sampling of the times Governor Scott “kept with tradition” and nominated a member of the outgoing public servant’s party to fill their vacancy.

“Keeping with tradition, because former Representative Martin served as a Republican, Governor Scott made the appointment from a list of candidates forwarded by the local Republican committee.” - February 14, 2022

“The outgoing state’s attorney was elected as a Republican, so in keeping with precedent, the Governor requested nominations from the Orange County Republican Committee to fill the vacancy.“ - April 23, 2021

“Outgoing sheriff, Stephen Benard, was elected as a Republican, so keeping with tradition, the Governor received nominations from the Rutland County Republican Committee to fill the vacancy” - March 17, 2020

“In keeping with tradition, Governor Scott appointed an Independent to a seat vacated by an Independent.” - January 6, 2020

“Keeping with practice, Governor Scott selected a replacement from the same party of the departing legislator.” - February 12, 2019

“Keeping with tradition, Governor Scott selected a replacement from the same party of the vacating legislator.” - June 20, 2019


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