Progressive Burlington city councilors Brian Pine (Ward 3) and Max Tracy (Ward 2) are seeking their party’s nomination for the mayoral election in March, party director Josh Wronski told Seven Days on Monday night.
The Progressive Party announced the two contenders in a press release about a series of upcoming candidate forums, the first of which is later this week.
“We want to give Burlington voters a chance to really get familiar with the choices that they have on the Progressive side,” Wronski said. “We also want to give the candidates an opportunity to really present their vision.”
Neither councilor has publicly, independently confirmed they’re running for mayor, however. The party’s press release came out just as Tracy, the council president, called Monday night’s meeting to order, leaving him and Pine unavailable for comment. Also in the meeting and unreachable was Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat who has not said whether he intends to seek a fourth term.
Wronski said both councilors approved being listed as candidates on the party website. He expects them to make formal announcements soon. Wronski added that other Progs have considered running for mayor.
“There might be other people who jump in the race,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to announce so early and announce these forums so early — to give people who may still get in a chance to get in.”
The forums come weeks before the party’s December 1 nominating caucus, which will be conducted virtually. The first forum, on environmental issues, is on November 11 at 5:30 p.m. Other events include forums on racial and social justice on November 16 and economic justice on November 19. The party will stream all three on its Facebook page.
The Democrats are scheduled to caucus on December 6.
Pine has been involved in Burlington politics for nearly 30 years, having first served on the city council from 1991 to 1995. He then worked at the city’s Community and Economic Development Office from 1996 until 2015 and ran again for city council in 2018. He was reelected to his seat in March.
Tracy graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 and was first elected to the city council in 2012, the same year Weinberger won the mayorship. Tracy became the city council president earlier this year.
Progressives currently hold a majority on the 12-member council.
No other Democratic challengers have emerged for the top post at City Hall, nor have any Republicans. Patrick White, a 29-year-old South End resident, told Seven Days last week he intends to run as an independent and will not seek either party’s nomination.