If you look at the list of statewide candidates in this year's election, there's something that will definitely catch your eye: H. Brooke Paige of Washington, Vermont is listed as a Republican candidate for six different state and federal offices.
- Senate against incumbent Bernie Sanders
- House against incumbent Peter Welch
- State Treasurer against incumbent Beth Pearce
- Secretary of State against incumbent Jim Condos
- Auditor against incumbent Doug Hoffer
- Attorney General against incumbent TJ Donovan
While Paige said he’d be honored “to serve in any or all of those positions” he has a different motivation for running.
“As you may be aware, for a number of years the Democrats have been crossing over in the primary and taking advantage of the fact that the Republican Party did not have candidates for all the slots in the primary,” Paige explained Friday on Vermont Edition.
“About 800 to 900 and sometimes a few more Democrats would religiously grab Republican ballots and write in the published candidates from their Democratic primary ballot. Obviously, with no other candidates running, there was no concerted effort on the part of the Republicans to fill the slots in the primary.”
If there’s a vacancy on the primary ballot, the Republican Party in Vermont is then allowed to nominate a someone by petition to run for that office in the general election.
It’s Paige’s hope that by representing Republicans in every race, Democrats will not be able to write-in a candidate in the August primary, and should Paige choose to bow out, his party can select a candidate to run for the position in the November general election.
“I believe that having my name printed on the ballot — just by the grace of God that more people will check off my name then will take the time to write in [someone else],” said Paige. “And since there's well over 10,000, possibly 20,000 Republicans that will vote in the primary, I'm fairly sure that I'll win all these slots.”
But this all assumes that the Vermont Republican Party has someone ready to take the baton from Paige come August. Paige says he’s prepared for that:
“Now, the thing is that I've requested the party to get out — aggressively look for well-qualified, well-known candidates to insert in place of my name for the general election,” Paige said.
“And … once I won these various offices that I win in the primary election, then I have the opportunity to withdraw my name. This is about a five-day period between the end of the primary and when the ballots have to go to press.”
Then it will be up to the Vermont GOP to get their candidate submitted to the Secretary of State’s office.
Paige says another consideration of his run is the ballooning cost of off-year elections in Vermont. To hear more, click play above.