Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin

Yesterday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was selected to lead the Democratic Governors Association. Shumlin was recently re-elected to a second two-year term as governor of his state. Being the chair of the organization responsible for helping to recruit and elect Democratic governors should help significantly increase the profile and influence of this small state governor.

This is good news for progressives given that Shumlin is one of the most liberal Democratic governors in office. He is both strongly pro-choice and pro-marriage equality. Shumlin helped lead the fight for Vermont’s marriage equality law while in the state legislature and was the first sitting governor to preside over a same-sex wedding.

Shumlin is probably best known for being the main forces behind a new health care law in Vermont modeled after single-payer. When fully enacted it will be the most progressive health care system in the country. He also has petitioned the Obama administration to re-schedule marijuana to make medical marijuana legal under federal law.

The new position as head of the Democratic Governor’s Association should enhance Shumlin’s profile and increase the number of national media appearances he will make. Hopefully, it will allow him to inject a more liberal perspective into the national debate regarding a whole range of issues.

Photo by Hekerui under Creative Commons license.