Anthony Pollina

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Anthony Pollina
Member of the Vermont Senate
from the Washington district
Assumed office
Preceded by Phil Scott
Personal details
Born (1952-02-17) February 17, 1952 (age 68)
New Jersey
Political party Progressive
Spouse(s) Deborah Wolf
Residence Middlesex, Vermont

Anthony Pollina (born February 17, 1952) is an American politician who is a Progressive State Senator in Vermont.

Electoral history

1984 US Congressional Election

In 1984, Pollina won a Democratic Party primary for Congress against Paul Forlenza and John Tatro. Pollina received 44% of the vote, Forlenza received 24% and Tatro received 27%. Pollina was defeated in the general election by incumbent Republican James Jeffords, winning 27% of the vote to Jeffords' 65%.[1]

2000 State Governor

In 2000, Pollina ran for Governor of Vermont as a member of the Vermont Progressive Party, receiving 9.5% of the vote in the general election. Pollina ran against incumbent Democrat Howard Dean who received 50.4% of the vote and former State Representative Ruth Dwyer who received 38% of the vote.[2] Due to new campaign financing laws, Pollina became the first candidate in the US to qualify for full public funding of his campaign.[3]

2002 State Lieutenant Governor

In 2002, Pollina ran as the Progressive Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor, receiving 25% of the vote against Republican Brian Dubie and State Senator Peter Shumlin.[4]

2008 State Governor

In 2008, Pollina ran as an Independent candidate for Governor, finishing second with 21.8% of the vote against Republican incumbent Jim Douglas, who won with 53.4% of the vote, and Democrat Gaye Symington who received 21.7% of the vote.[5] The Pollina campaign received unusually strong labor support for an independent candidate, receiving the endorsements of the three largest unions in the state. On September 14 the 10,000 strong Vermont AFL-CIO voted to endorse Pollina, the endorsement came on the heels of the previous endorsements from the Vermont State Employees Association (10,000 members) Sept. 12th and the Abenaki Nation (1500 members) [1]. On the 15th the Pollinia campaign received the endorsement of the Vermont-National Education Association [2] and its 11,500 members [3]. The endorsement by the NEA was the first time the union has backed an independent gubernatorial candidate. NEA-Vermont President Angelo Dorta stated that the endorsement of Pollina was partly because Symington “still tends to talk about our schools in terms of cost containment as opposed to investment” [4]. Pollina also garnered the support of the 3,000-member Gun Owners of Vermont [5]. Along with the labor support Pollina also received the endorsements and support of many public officials in the state including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I), former Governor Philip H. Hoff (D) [6], Bob Kiss (Progressive) the mayor of Burlington (the state's largest city), Vermont House Agriculture Committee chair David Zuckerman (Progressive), and the Vermont Progressive Party. Several prominent Democratic party activists formed Democrats for Pollina. Some of those involved were former state senators Harvey Carter, Janet Munt and grassroots organizer Rebecca Moore [7]. Several Vermont Democratic party officials also endorsed Pollina such as Bristol chair Peter Grant [8] [9].

2010 State Senator

In 2010, Anthony Pollina successfully ran for a State Senate seat in the three member Washington County district.[6] He became the second Vermont Progressive Party member to sit in the Vermont Senate after Tim Ashe, and they have since been joined by Zuckerman. Pollina ran under a Democratic and Progressive party electoral alliance after he won the Democratic party primary.[7] This tactic is known as electoral fusion.

2012 State Senator

Pollina was reelected in 2012, along with Washington County incumbents Bill Doyle and Ann Cummings, who defeated Republicans Buddy Barnett and Dexter LeFavour, and Independent Jeremy Hansen. Doyle finished first with 25.4% of all votes cast, Cummings placed second with 24.5%, and Pollina finished third with 21.8%.[8]

2014 State Senator

In 2014, Pollina was elected to another term, as Washington County reelected all three incumbent Senators. Incumbent Bill Doyle, a Republican, finished first with 10,918 votes. Democrat Ann Cummings had 10,669. Pollina received 9,923 votes, placing ahead of fourth-place finisher Patricia McDonald, who received 8,488.[9]

Political activism and platform

Pollina served as a Senior Policy Advisor for then Congressman Bernie Sanders from 1991-1996. Pollina has worked as the Interim Director and as a Policy Director for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. During the 1997 and 1998 sessions of the Vermont Legislature, Pollina worked as advocate for campaign finance legislation that established public funding for statewide political campaigns. In 2002, when Pollina’s campaign for Lt. Governor failed to qualify for public funding, he filed suit in federal court to overturn the law. In 2003, Pollina started a call in radio show on WDEV called Equal Time Radio. The program was a forum for Pollina to discuss local and national politics from a left-leaning perspective. He quit the radio program in 2007 in order to run for Governor.

Pollina served as a founding board member of the Vermont Milk Company, a farmer owned and operated dairy in Hardwick, Vermont. The company was established in 2006 with a focus on paying farmers a higher than average price for milk and marketing the products locally. Pollina resigned from the board of the Vermont Milk company in 2008 to focus on his campaign for governor.

In November 2012, Pollina won the "Lawmaker of the Year" award during his freshman term along with fellow lawmaker Rep. Bill Botzow, D-Bennington, by "Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility". The lawmaker scored perfectly for the award based on his stance on health-care reform, establishing a Genuine Process Indicator, and attempting to overturn the Citizens United court decision.[10]

Personal life

Anthony Pollina was born in New Jersey. He graduated from Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont. He is head of the Vermont Democracy Fund. He resides in Middlesex, Vermont with his wife Deborah and their two daughters, Alessandra and Maya.


  1. "Vermont General Election Results - U.S. Representatives" Vermont State Archives
  2. "Vermont General Election Results - Governor" Vermont State Archives
  3. "Vermont's 'Clean Money' Law Will Finance Underdog's Campaign" NY Times
  4. "Vermont General Election Results - Lt. Governor" Vermont State Archives
  5. "Election Results" Burlington Free Press
  8. Vermont Secretary of State, 2012 General Election Results, Washington County State Senate District, accessed February 5, 2013
  9. Brown, Tom (November 4, 2014). "Republicans gain two seats in Vermont Senate". VT Digger.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Pollina named lawmaker of year

External links