- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith, who dropped out of the race for governor last year because his wife was being treated for breast cancer, is now making a bid for lieutenant governor.

Smith said Wednesday his wife’s improving health, coupled with his desire to remain in public service, compelled him to run.

“I thought about where I was in my life and I felt like the lieutenant governor’s position is one I could give my full attention and effort,” Smith, 50, said. He said he sees the lieutenant governor’s office as a place where he can have an impact.

Smith said he enjoyed his last year as speaker and believes there’s more to do in the public policy arena.

Last fall, Smith said his wife, Melissa Volansky, was diagnosed with breast cancer, had surgery and got the news that more treatment would be needed.

Smith joins Kesha Ram, a four-term House Representative from Burlington, and David Zuckerman, a veteran legislator from Chittenden County, in the Democratic primary. Zuckerman also is a member of the Progressive Party.

Former Franklin County senator Randy Brock is the lone Republican in the race for lieutenant governor.

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