Democratic candidates for attorney general make final appeal for votes

Rory Thibault and Charity Clark. Photos by Natalie Williams/VTDigger and Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Unlike races higher on the ballot, no public poll has been conducted on one of the state’s hottest contests this primary season: the race for attorney general.

With little known about who might hold an edge, Charity Clark, the former chief of staff in the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, and Rory Thibault, the Washington County state’s attorney, have spent the final days of the Democratic primary contest meeting with smaller audiences and blitzing voters on social media, in newspaper ads and at honk-and-waves.

In addition to promoting their experiences, they’re also holding up their lists of endorsements, with some of the state’s more stalwart party leaders — including two former governors — backing Clark, and Thibault earning support from state Treasurer Beth Pearce and former Senate President Pro Temporarily John Campbell.

Clark is seeking to be the first woman elected to the office. The 47-year-old from Williston has campaigned on keeping many of the office’s current practices in place. Thibault, 39, of Cabot, has pitched some bigger structural reforms.

(Republican H. Brooke Paige, a perennial candidate, and Progressive Elijah Bergman have also filed to run for attorney general but face no competition in their respective primaries.)

Campaign finance reports show a clear edge for Clark. According to reports filed through Aug. 1, she had raised $120,700, compared to Thibault’s $88,823. Clark outraised Thibault more than 3-to-1 in the month of July.

The fillings also showed that Clark had an advantage in cash on hand heading into the last days of the campaign, with $66,305 in unspent funds compared to $25,322 for Thibault.

While Clark announced the endorsements of former Vermont governors Madeleine Kunin and Howard Dean in press releases earlier in the campaign, another former Democratic governor, Peter

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