- Associated Press - Monday, April 11, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A health insurance analyst from Burlington is expected to challenge Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce in a Democratic primary election this summer.

Thirty-year-old Richard Dunne told the Burlington Free Press (https://bfpne.ws/1Q3dAc7 ) that he wants to enter the race in response to Pearce’s position on divestment.

Pearce has clashed with Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin over a call by the governor and some lawmakers for the state to divest its pension fund of stocks in coal companies and Exxon-Mobil as a way to encourage the fight against climate change.

Pearce has formed a Vermont Pension Investment Committee subcommittee to study the divestment issue.

Dunne said he had gathered about half the necessary signatures to be on the August primary ballot and didn’t expect to have any trouble getting the remainder.

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