Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger is running for reelection.
The three-term Democrat announced his decision Tuesday morning in an email to supporters, writing that “serving as mayor has been the honor of my life.”
Voters will cast ballots on Town Meeting Day in March.
“Together, we have accomplished so much over the last nine years,” his statement says. “I will always be deeply grateful for your support and belief in my ability to work with our community to move Burlington forward.”
Weinberger’s announcement came hours after the Progressive Party put forward city councilors Max Tracy (Ward 2) and Brian Pine (Ward 3) as candidates. “Burlington is ready for new leadership and a new direction from City Hall,” Progressive Party director Josh Wronski said in a press release Monday evening.
No other Democrat has thrown their hat in the ring, but at least one independent has: Patrick White, 29, a South End resident and insurance policy writer who is focused on affordability.
There are plenty of rumors about other possible contenders, including City Councilor Ali Dieng (I-Ward 7), who has strongly hinted that he plans to run.
Outgoing state Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (D/P-Chittenden), who ran against Weinberger in the 2012 election primary and lost his bid for lieutenant governor in August, told Seven Days last week that he’s “not thinking about running.”
The Progressive Party will caucus on December 1, while the Democrats will gather on December 6.
Weinberger’s letter laid out several priorities if reelected, including leading through the coronavirus pandemic, addressing racial justice and the climate crisis, and finishing the long-stalled CityPlace Burlington project. He also touted some of his administration’s accomplishments: ending the Burlington Telecom financial fiasco, transforming City Hall Park and establishing a year-round low-barrier homeless shelter.
“As we pursue these and other goals, we will remain committed to governing through civility, collaboration, and a focus on science, analysis, and evidence,” Weinberger wrote. “In one fundamental way, this election will be the same as our past campaigns together: Your participation will determine the outcome —your vote matters.”
Weinberger emerged victorious in a three-way mayoral race in 2018. But the intervening years have been tumultuous.
While he’s earned high marks for stewarding the city through the coronavirus pandemic, Weinberger has been criticized for his handling of allegations of police violence involving city officers and a scandal that led his former police chief and a deputy chief to resign. Racial justice protesters have also taken aim at the mayor, including marching to his house for “die-ins” urging more action on police violence and other anti-racist measures.