- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott kicked off his campaign for governor Tuesday, saying he will work to rebuild Vermont’s economic foundation.

The construction company co-owner and race car driver announced his candidacy with words of support from Republican former Gov. Jim Douglas and state Sen. Dick Mazza, who heads the group Democrats for Phil Scott.

During his time as lieutenant governor, he said, he’s observed “a disconnect between Montpelier and many Vermonters.”

“While so many are struggling to stretch every dollar so far … in order to pay the bills, the taxes, too many elected officials think the solution is to raise more taxes and spend more money,” he said.

Scott said the state needs a governor who will listen and not lecture, and said it’s long past time to pull the plug on the state’s health insurance exchange, which he says continues to have problems.

“When we shore up our economic foundation, Vermont’s economy will once again keep and attract working age families, innovators and entrepreneurs,” Scott said. “Current employers will stay and expand. New employers will arrive. Wages will rise. And the revenue government needs to care for the vulnerable and invest in our future will grow.”

Scott faces a primary contest against retired Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman for the Republican nomination to replace Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin, who is not seeking a fourth two-year term.

Former Transportation Secretary Sue Minter and former lawmaker Matt Dunne are both seeking the Democratic nomination.

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