first_imgIn what must come as a surprise, State Senator Randy Brock (R-Franklin) announced today that he will be a candidate for governor of the state of Vermont in 2012. The announcement of a Republican opponent to first-term Democrat Peter Shumlin had been long coming, but interest in running against the long-serving state senator from Windham County seemed to have dampened following Tropical Storm Irene and the rebuilding effort that followed. One possible opponent, former Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie, the man whom Shumlin narrowly beat a year ago, was considered a contender, but that is moot now, as Dubie has leant his support to Brock’s candidacy.Brock made his announcement at the Vermont State House, where he was joined by former Governor Jim Douglas and other Vermont dignitaries, including Vermont GOP Chair Pat McDonald. Brock focused on the economy, health care and the state’s energy policy.Brock, a two-term senator, was defeated in his re-election bid as state auditor, despite generally high regard, to Tom Salmon in 2006 in a race in which Brock lost in a re-count by 102 votes. Salmon switched parties and is now a Republican who also had considered a race for higher office – either for governor or US Senate against Bernie Sanders – until deciding to run for re-election. Despite that decision, WCAX-TV reported that Brock was considering a run for governor, state treasurer or that same auditor’s position, before settling on governor. In his statement, Brock said, “Now more than ever, we need strong, principled leadership in Montpelier.  We need leadership that represents the Sensible Center, the place where most Vermonters and most Americans find themselves.”Brock, 68, was elected to the Senate in 2008. While there, he sided with Shumlin in the momentous vote in February 2010 on rejecting a license renewal for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has sued the state in federal court over the state’s jurisdiction. A decision in that case is expected at any time. The reaction to Brock’s announcement was swift from friend and foe.Statement from the governor’s special assistant Susan Allen: ‘Only 11 months into his first term, Governor Shumlin is focused on the job Vermonters elected him to do: create jobs, revitalize Vermont’s economy, and get tough things done. That will be the governor’s focus in the months ahead as Vermont continues to create a bright jobs future.’Brian Dubie released this statement:”I wish I could be with you today, but my work takes me out of state. I have had the pleasure of serving with Randy Brock for eight years. I am mindful that today is December 7, the date on which our nation was attacked at Pearl Harbor. I am grateful for Randy’s service in the US Army and honor him as a veteran. I am grateful for his service as our state auditor and as my state senator from Franklin County. I am grateful for his fight for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease, as member of the National Alzheimer’s Association.”Randy is an outstanding public servant and a good friend. I am pleased to announce that he has my full support in his campaign for Governor. I look forward to assisting Randy in his campaign to make our beloved State of Vermont an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”Vermont Democratic Party Chair Jake Perkinson released this statement:‘Only hours before his announcement, Senator Brock could not decide between ‘three possible scenarios,’ illustrating how ill-prepared he is to even campaign for governor, let alone hold Vermont’s highest state office.  Senator Brock’s latest job search has been a months-long political calculation about what’s best for Randy Brock, not what’s best for Vermont.  Randy Brock was a failure as Auditor, has failed to distinguish himself as a State Senator, and will fail in his bid for Governor.’Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott released this statement:”Having served with Randy Brock in the Senate, I can say without a doubt that he is one of the brightest financial minds in the Legislature. He’s the guy I would trust to watch over my money. Particularly in these challenging times, Randy would be a strong asset to the State of Vermont. I congratulate him on his candidacy and I wish him the best.”Brock’s Speech:December 7, 2011 “Good Afternoon. Before I say anything, l want to recognize that today is the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  It is a day of reflection for all Americans and, once again, we are reminded how grateful we are to those who serve and protect our country.  So thank you to all veterans and to those who are currently serving. As I was walking into this building a few moments ago, I was reminded again how humbled I am to serve here on behalf of the hard-working people of the State of Vermont.  And how honored I have been to represent my friends and neighbors in Franklin County and Alburg.  I was also very mindful of the hard work that lies ahead for Vermont. ·         Recovering from the worst natural disaster in recent memory. ·         Building a vibrant economy for today and for the future.. ·         Imagining and realizing a future where our children and our children’s children can live, work and prosper in the state where they were born. Speaking as a legislator, I’m fully aware of how difficult the upcoming session will be.  And I take very seriously the trust that has been placed in me by the voters that sent me here.  But I must also look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for all of us. *** Today, I’m here to tell you that I am running for Governor of the State of Vermont. I am running for Governor of Vermont because I believe that we have a greater and a brighter future ahead of us. I am running for Governor of Vermont because I believe we need to put Vermonters first, and create new and exciting opportunities for the people that live here. I am running for Governor of Vermont because I believe we need to adopt a pro-growth agenda, and create a vibrant and creative economy that serves ALL Vermonters. I am running for Governor because I believe that this little state ‘ filled with thousands of hard-working, independent, strong-willed people ‘ can become an economic dynamo for New England, and become ‘The Next Great Place To Be.’ Most of all, I am running for Governor because I love Vermont.  I love the people that work here.  I love our spirit, and I love our attitude. To me, there would be no greater honor than to work on behalf of all Vermonters as your next Governor. *** Now, there will be a time and a place for confetti and balloons and everything that you expect at a kickoff event. But this is not that time, and this is not the place. As I said before, there is a difficult legislative session right around the corner.  And I was sent here by the citizens of Franklin County and Alburg to represent them in the Vermont State Senate.  So my primary focus until the session concludes is to represent my constituents to the best of my ability. And after the session ends . . . well, that will be the time for confetti and balloons. Because what I will offer to the people of Vermont in my campaign for Governor is a solid, fiscally-responsible program designed to inspire Vermonters with a promise of a better tomorrow for our children and our grandchildren. *** A few weeks ago, I was talking to a small group in Franklin County about the upcoming legislative session and about the challenges I see facing Vermont. And I was honest with them about those challenges . . . and above all else, what the people of this state need and expect is honesty. We are just coming out of the greatest natural disaster this state has seen in generations.  We are recovering from it thanks to the Herculean efforts of hundreds of state and local government workers, the talent of scores of private contractors, and the incredible initiative of thousands of Vermonters spontaneously helping their neighbors. It was such an important moment for Vermont.  It was important because it proved who we really are.  It showed the whole world just how tough Vermonters can be. We pulled together . . . and we stood tall. And this tiny state will recover and be stronger, smarter, and better than ever. But as I said I had to be honest with my audience . . . so this is what I told them: Irene is not the only storm.  It is not our only challenge. We face challenges in education.  We spend more per K-12 student than almost anyone in the nation, yet we are almost last in support of higher education.  And we have an educational financing system that we cannot afford and that no one can understand.  Let’s invest in the programs and methods that work and make sure that our money is helping us create a better foundation for Vermont’s students. We face challenges in growing new jobs and creating new opportunities in Vermont.  Vermonters can’t find good-paying jobs, while our employers complain they can’t find qualified workers.  We need to support and listen to Vermont employers, and understand the economic environments in which they operate.  We will need smart economic development policies, a strong infrastructure, and a fair and efficient regulatory environment to help unleash Vermont’s vast amounts of energy and creativity.  And unleashing that economic energy could create a new age of prosperity for ALL Vermonters. We face challenges in making sure our citizens have access to affordable high-quality healthcare choice, and that they have the freedom to make their own decisions about their health care future.  What the Shumlin Administration has given us is the prospect of a utopian single payer system and they won’t tell us how much it will cost, how we will pay for it, what will be covered and how it will impact our hospitals and doctors. Think about the illogic:  how on earth can we say it will save money when we don’t know what it will cost?   We need to address health care spending, absolutely.  We need to make sure no family is bankrupted by healthcare cost.  And we must ensure that health insurance is available to everyone, not because it’s a right, but because it’s the right thing to do.  But if people like their health care coverage, they should be able to keep it. We face challenges in keeping our people safe, and making sure that our law enforcement community has the moral support as well as the resources it needs. ‘Looking the other way’ is not a strategy, not as long as we live in the United States of America. In these and so many other areas, I feel our present Administration is falling short.  They are good at politics, they are good at promising all things to all people, they are great at dealing with the press, but my experience tells me that Vermonters want more. And I feel fully confident that when Vermonters go the polls next November, and when they think about who deserves to be our next Governor, their thought will be:  We can do better. *** Now, I say that knowing full well that history is not on my side.  No incumbent governor has been defeated in Vermont in half a centuryâ ¦.  Well, all I can say is it’s about time. Everyone knows:  ‘Vermont loves its incumbents.’  But, in thinking about this race, I had an epiphany:  I recalled that I have run four races, two for the Senate and two statewide races.  In three of the four, 75%, an incumbent was defeated.  (Unfortunately, in one of those races, by 102 votes, it was me).  Incumbents are not invulnerable, especially today when we have a governor who is so clearly on the wrong track. I believe that Peter Shumlin is a good man, but I believe he is blindly steering Vermont’s ship of state toward the shoals. Peter Shumlin’s policies ‘ especially in the areas of health care and energy ‘ are built on rosy assumptions and wishful thinking constructed over a foundation of quicksand. If my travels around this state have taught me anything, it is this:  Vermonters don’t want to live in a ‘laboratory for change’.  They don’t want to be the guinea pigs or lab rats in a grand social experiment. Vermonters simply want to have a fair shake, an honest shot at the opportunities that lie before them, and the ability to lead their lives the way they want to lead them. Vermonters want a clean environment, but with clear, easy to understand rules and regulations to keep it that way. Vermonters want to have good jobs, and good schools, in safe towns, with a government that inspires them to achieve their goals and that otherwise stays out of their lives. Vermonters want a government that protects them from crooks and makes sure there’s a level playing field in the marketplace.  Vermonters want a government that does its jobâ ¦well.  Vermonters want leaders that inspire and point the way to a better tomorrow.  Vermonters want to believe that we can do better.  *** Before I finish, there is one last thing that I wanted to share with you . . . and that is an overwhelming feeling that I wish my parents were here today.  They are the ones that taught me about education, hard work and perseverance. Both of my parents were college graduates, something that was very rare for African Americans who grew up in the Depression.  My mom went to college under the GI Bill, because her father died in uniform in World War I.  She began her career as a French teacher in a segregated school in the South. My dad, at a towering 5’7’, believe it or not, got a basketball scholarship that paid for his college education.  He served in the Army in Europe in World War II and then went on to get a law degree, also under the GI Bill.  They instilled in me a belief in the importance of education as a pathway to the future.  They taught me that if you work hard enough, there is nothing you can’t do. Each and every day, when I wake up, I think of them and I am so grateful ‘ so grateful ‘ for their inspiration and for the values they instilled in me. I feel so lucky to live here in this great state, filled with so many wonderful people who, like my parents, share these same values. *** There is no better place on earth than right here . . . right here, right now, in the State of Vermont. And there would be no greater honor for me than to serve the people of this great state as your next Governor. I hope that I will have all of you by my side once the campaign starts . . . and I thank you for being here with me today. Thank you.”ABOUT RANDY BROCKTaken from randybrock.com: PUBLIC SERVICE FOR RANDY SOMETIMES MEANS SERVING PANCAKESVermont resident for 41 years  –  Lived in Swanton for the past 25 yearsMarried, with a 25 year old daughterCurrently serve in the Vermont State Senate representing Franklin County and AlburghElected as Vermont’s 28th State Auditor in 2004Retired executive vice president for risk oversight for a 9 billion dollar financial services company.  Responsible for more than $1.3 trillion in investor’s money.Taught fraud prevention and investigation to investigators, auditors, government agents and law enforcement officers in U.S., Canada, Europe & South AmericaCertified Fraud ExaminerVietnam Veteran (Captain, Military Police Corps) ‘ Bronze Star for Meritorious Service; Army Commendation Medal (2 awards) RANDY AT THE AUDITOR’S OFFICEChair, Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association; Member, National Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association, Trustee, Vermont Historical Society and Trustee, Vermont Law SchoolFormer Member, Board of Directors, Vermont Educational & Health Buildings Finance Agency (issues tax exempt bonds); former Chair, State Board of Private Investigative & Security Services LicensingAppointed by President George W. Bush to the Board of Visitors to the US Military Academy at West Point; currently serve as the elected vice chair of the boardMiddlebury College graduate; Master of Arts degree from Yalelast_img