Primary Source: Sanders to campaign in Massachusetts ahead of Super Tuesday

  • John P. Gregg. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

  • Newbury, Vt., native Molly Gray, of Burlington, is a Democrat running for lieutenant governor in Vermont. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/26/2020 9:54:40 PM
Modified: 2/26/2020 9:54:31 PM

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., held a rally in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday in advance of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, but may not catch former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading there in various polls.

Biden holds an average lead of 11 percentage points in South Carolina polls, according to the RealClearPolitics website, and in fact pulled further ahead in a Clemson University poll released Wednesday, with former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer slipping past Sanders into second place.

But Sanders has a double-digit lead in California, which votes on March 3 along with 13 other states, including Vermont. Biden picked up a key endorsement Wednesday in South Carolina from U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, who as House majority whip is also the top-ranking African-American in Congress.

“We know Joe. But more importantly, he knows us,” Clyburn said in a campaign video highlighting his endorsement.

Some of the candidates are headed to the Northeast for Super Tuesday, with Sanders scheduled to campaign in Springfield, Mass., on Friday night and to hold a rally on the Boston Common at noon on Saturday.

That’s the home territory of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., of course, who this week won the endorsement of the Boston Globe, which said she has the “greatest potential” to expose President Donald Trump’s weaknesses in debates.

The paper also endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld in the Republican primary. Weld on Thursday is heading to Vermont, a state he has hoped in the past to win, and plans to meet with students and staff at Vermont Law School in South Royalton from 8:30 to 10 a.m. before heading to Montpelier and Burlington.

Rooted in the Valley

Molly Gray, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor who grew up on a farm in Newbury, Vt., is launching a daylong campaign tour Thursday on familiar ground. Gray, who is now an assistant attorney general in Montpelier, is making campaign stops at The Space on Main and Farm-Way in Bradford, Vt., before heading west toward the Queen City Brewery in Burlington.

She wants to use the lieutenant governor’s office to spur Vermont into doing more to reinvest in rural communities and plans to highlight the stories of people committed to the rural state, like Space on Main founder Monique Priestley.

Gray, who turns 36 next month, grew up on 4 Corners Farm in South Newbury, a vegetable and small dairy farm run by her parents, Bob and Kim Gray. Bob was a Nordic Olympian, and Kim was a member of the U.S. Ski Team.

Molly Gray herself was a competitive cross country skier at Oxbow High, Stratton Mountain School and the University of Vermont, and said her farm background is an important asset.

“It’s an upbringing I feel so incredibly fortunate to have, where there is a deep connection to our working lands and the rural landscape, and because of that (I want) to make sure we have a plan to preserve it, but also to promote it as our greatest asset,” Gray said in a phone interview.

Her supporters include former Gov. Madeleine Kunin, Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George and former Democratic National Committee Finance Chairwoman Jane Stetson, of Norwich.

But Gray also faces a crowded field for lieutenant governor, which is opening up as incumbent David Zuckerman, a Progressive/Democrat from Chittenden County, runs for governor. Others seeking the office on her side of the ballot include Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, of Burlington, a Democrat-Progressive, and Democrats state Sen. Debbie Ingram, of Williston, and Brenda Siegel, of Newfane. On the Republican side, Dana Colson, of Sharon, and Meg Hansen, of Manchester, are running.

‘Get over it’

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to Johns Hopkins University, where he has donated at least $3.3 billion, but he also has a Dartmouth connection. His longtime partner/girlfriend, Diana Taylor, graduated from Dartmouth in 1977 and served as a Dartmouth trustee from 2008 to 2016.

Taylor started her career on Wall Street in the 1980s and later served as New York State superintendent of banks, and this week she made headlines defending Bloomberg from long-standing reports that he had made inappropriate comments to some female employees decades ago.

“That is not who he is,” Taylor told CBS News this week during a Women for Mike rally in Texas. “Life has changed, I grew up in that world. It was a bro culture.”

So far, so good, but when CBS pressed Taylor about what she would tell people who are concerned about the alleged comments, she replied, “It was 30 years ago, get over it.”

Briefly noted

■ Sullivan County Republicans are holding a “Leap Into Victory” fundraising dinner Saturday evening at the Claremont Senior Center, with tickets starting at $50 a head. The guest speaker is former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Gov. Chris Sununu is also expected to appear. Things seem to have settled down with the Republican group after the departure of former county chairman Keith Hanson, the combative talk show host.

■ Republican Gov. Phil Scott appointed independent Peter Reed to an open Randolph-area Vermont House seat last month, and the retired banker from Braintree, Vt., has, indeed, been independent. Reed voted with Democrats to override a Scott veto on raising the minimum wage and also voted for an override on paid family leave.

John P. Gregg can be reached at

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