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Retired Salesman Throws His Hat Into GOP Gubernatorial Ring

A retired door-to-door salesman whose home was destroyed in Tropical Storm Irene is hoping to become the next governor of Vermont.

Few people had heard of Steve Berry’s name until Thursday, when he became one of three candidates to file petitions to get on the Republican gubernatorial primary ballot. Berry’s lone experience in politics has come as finance chair of the Lamoille County GOP.

“I’m a senior citizen. I’m going to be 73 in December and I have 19 grandchildren,” said Berry. “What has really given me the passion to do this is the single-payer health care that we cannot possibly pay for.”

"What has really given me the passion to do this is the single-payer health care that we cannot possibly pay for." - Steve Berry

Berry, who has lived with his daughter’s family in Wolcott since his Duxbury home was inundated in 2011, says he’ll also campaign against the national education curriculum known as Common Core.

“This is federal education without representation,” he said.

Berry spent 50 years in sales, including 25 years going door-to-door across New England selling people aerial photographs of their homes.

Berry says he wants to hold as many debates as possible between him, Scott Milne and Emily Peyton, the other two Republican candidates for governor.

Leaders of the Vermont GOP have distanced themselves from Peyton’s candidacy.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referred to Common Core was a federal education curriculum. Common Core is a set of academic standards agreed to by 43 states and the District of Columbia.