In Vermont, Tom Salmon Goes Against the Flow

Often, party switches are motivated by crass political self-interest. You can't say that about Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon, who just became a Republican ...
by | September 9, 2009

Often, party switches are motivated by crass political self-interest. You can't say that about Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon, who just became a Republican in one of the most Democratic states in country. The Burlington Free Press has more:

MONTPELIER -- State Auditor Tom Salmon jumped to the Republican Party today, saying it was the party that best represents his core beliefs.

The move, rumored last week and made official at a news conference this morning at the Statehouse, marks a rare instance in which a statewide office-holder switches allegiances in midterm.

"I believe the Vermont Republican Party is closest to accepting the reality of our times and is therefore the best equipped to managed the very real and trouble economic and social conditions which confront us, not only today, but in the coming decade," Salmon said to an audience in the Cedar Creek Room that included Republican legislators, members of Gov. Jim Douglas administration and other GOP insiders.

Salmon's switch isn't too shocking. He sounds as though he's more fiscally conservative than most Vermont Democrats.

Salmon was actually the nominee of both the Democratic and Republican parties in 2008, when he won reelection with 85% of the vote. He seems inclined to seek reelection next year and should be a favorite to win, given his previous electoral success and Vermont's continuing willingness to elect Republican to some statewide offices.

Still, it's hard to imagine that in Vermont this move will make Salmon's political life any easier. Then again, if there is one upside for him, it's that Republicans will be eager to support him for major offices in the future. Salmon will be a big fish in the small pond that is the Vermont Republican Party.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

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