- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Transportation Secretary Sue Minter announced Thursday that she’s resigning and running for governor, the third Democrat to enter the race.

Minter, 54, said she will formally announce her candidacy next month. The former state lawmaker from Waterbury, who helped lead the recovery from Tropical Storm Irene, said her decision was motivated by what she has seen Vermont residents accomplish when they come together.

“I’m motivated from the experiences I’ve had, you know, working in communities all over the state, and from being a mom and a community leader, and I really have seen the challenges that we face and really understand the economic anxiety that Vermonters feel. You know, when I see problems, I also see potential,” she said.

She faces a Democratic primary contest that to date includes House Speaker Shap Smith and Google executive and former lawmaker Matt Dunne.

On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and retired Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman have announced their bids to replace Gov. Peter Shumlin, who announced in June he will not seek a fourth two-year term.

Minter became Transportation secretary in January, replacing Brian Searles after serving as deputy secretary. Four months after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene devastated parts of Vermont in Aug. 28, 2011, Minter became the state’s Irene recovery officer. She served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010, before being appointed deputy Transportation secretary in 2011.

Minter offered no examples of what she would do as governor but said she would bring to the job her record of accomplishment and experience as a legislator and leader of the second largest agency in Vermont state government with a $600 million budget and 1,300 employees.

As the Irene recovery officer she said she saw that Vermonters accomplish great things when they come together. “I am motivated by that. I think Vermonters are looking for a leader to make Vermont work. I want to be that governor,” she said.

Gov. Peter Shumlin said Thursday that he had appointed Deputy Transportation Secretary Chris Cole to lead the agency, following Minter’s resignation, effective at the end of the day on Friday.

“For four years, Sue Minter has been working hard to keep Vermonters moving forward,” Shumlin said. “Whether it was overseeing recovery efforts following Irene, steadily improving Vermont’s transportation infrastructure, or managing one of the largest agencies in state government, Sue has been an invaluable asset to the state of Vermont. She is smart, driven, and an incredibly talented leader.”

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