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  Mayor’s race heats up in Burlington
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Last EditedRBH  Oct 06, 2011 07:56pm
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AuthorGreg Guma
News DateFriday, October 7, 2011 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionIt’s hard to ignore the rumblings of an imminent political upheaval in Burlington. With the next mayoral election set for March 6 in Vermont’s largest city, a $33 million Burlington Telecom lawsuit that accuses the city of fraud and breach of contract, and Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss facing widespread criticism – some it from within his own base — the atmosphere is as volatile as it’s been in decades.

Four candidates to replace Kiss have already announced, and at least three more are considering it. The official list currently includes three Democrats – Airport Commissioner Miro Weinberger, state Rep. Jason Lorber and City Councilor Bram Kranichfeld, along with Republican Kurt Wright, a council member who came close to beating Kiss three years ago. All are hammering the mayor about BT finances and other examples of what they consider the administration’s mismanagement.

The possible contenders also include Sen. Tim Ashe, once a City Council Progressive, now perhaps that party’s best hope for a functional alliance with Democrats; Assistant Housing Director Brian Pine, a former Progressive councilor said to be seeking both Progressive and Democratic support; and Ward 3 Councilor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, a Progressive Party stalwart who has so far resisted suggestions that she jump in.

Kiss has been mum about his plans, even at a recent caucus of the local Progressive Party. But the push for others to challenge him, along with an increase in local activism on issues like his recent attempt to forge a climate change partnership with Lockheed Martin, point to a tumultuous political season. No matter what the weather conditions, party caucuses in January are sure to be hot and well-attended.
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