David Zuckerman (politician)

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David Zuckerman
David Zuckerman LT GOV VT.png
82nd Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
In office
January 5, 2017 – January 7, 2021
GovernorPhil Scott
Preceded byPhil Scott
Succeeded byMolly Gray
Member of the Vermont Senate
from the Chittenden district
In office
January 9, 2013 – January 2, 2017
Preceded byMulti-member district
Succeeded byMulti-member district
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives
from the Chittenden-3-4 district
In office
January 5, 1997 – January 5, 2011
Preceded byMulti-member district
Succeeded byMulti-member district
Personal details
Born (1971-08-16) August 16, 1971 (age 49)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyVermont Progressive[1]
Other political
Spouse(s)Rachel Nevitt
EducationUniversity of Vermont (BS)

David E. Zuckerman (born August 16, 1971) is an American businessman, farmer, and Vermont Progressive Party politician who served two terms as the 82nd Lieutenant Governor of Vermont from 2017 to 2021. He previously served in the Vermont House of Representatives for seven terms (1997–2011), and the Vermont Senate for two (2013–2017). He was the Democratic and Progressive nominee for Governor of Vermont in the 2020 election, losing to incumbent Republican Phil Scott.[2]

In 2016, Zuckerman ran for lieutenant governor as a Progressive, and also received the nomination of the Democratic Party by defeating Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives Shap Smith and Representative Kesha Ram in the Democratic primary. He defeated Republican State Senator Randy Brock in the 2016 general election.[3] Zuckerman was re-elected in 2018.[4]

Zuckerman is the first Progressive Party candidate to win statewide office in Vermont.[5] Other Progressive-endorsed candidates who have won statewide-office elections, including Doug Hoffer for Vermont State Auditor, were primarily affiliated with the Vermont Democratic Party.[6] Zuckerman's win reinforced Vermont as a state with the presence of a major party other than the Democratic and Republican parties.

In 2020, Zuckerman was a candidate for governor of Vermont.[7] He ran with the support of both the Vermont Progressive Party and the Democratic Party, but was defeated by incumbent Republican Governor Phil Scott in the general election.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Zuckerman grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, and graduated from Brookline High School in 1989.[9] His father is Jewish.[10] In 1995, he graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies and a minor in chemistry.[11]


State House of Representatives[edit]

Prior to serving in the House, he served on the Burlington Electric Commission.[11] Zuckerman ran for the Vermont House in 1994 while still enrolled in college, and lost by 59 votes.[12] He ran again two years later and become the fourth Progressive Party member to serve in the Vermont State House, a seat that he held through 2011.[13]

While in the House, he served for six years on the Natural Resources and Energy Committee as well as six years on the Agriculture Committee, including four as the chairperson.[11] He finished his time in the House of Representatives by serving on the Ways and Means Committee.[14]

Zuckerman considered running for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2006 election when Vermont's lone House seat was being vacated by independent Bernie Sanders, who was a candidate for the United States Senate.[15] Zuckerman eventually decided not to run in order to continue serving as Agriculture chairman in the Vermont House.[16]

State Senate[edit]

Zuckerman ran for Vermont State Senate from Chittenden County in the 2012 elections and won a seat in this six-member, at-large district.[17][18] In the Senate, Zuckerman served on the Agriculture and Education committees; he was vice chairperson of Agriculture, and clerk of Education.[14]

In his time in the legislature, Zuckerman was involved in the passage of Vermont's civil union and marriage equality laws, workers' rights legislation, increasing the minimum wage, sustainable (economic and environmental) agricultural policy, cannabis policy reform, election law reform, many renewable energy initiatives, progressive taxation policy as well as universal healthcare.[citation needed]

In January 2014, Zuckerman introduced legislation that would allow for recreational sale and use of cannabis.[19] If passed it would allow for possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to 3 plants for anyone 21 and over.[20] It would also have the penalty for underage consumption of cannabis be the same as the current penalty for underage drinking.[20]

Lieutenant Governor[edit]

In 2016, Zuckerman ran for Lieutenant Governor as a Progressive candidate, earning the endorsement of Bernie Sanders before the August 9 primary.[21] He ran unopposed in the Progressive primary, while simultaneously defeating Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith and Representative Kesha Ram to win the Democratic nomination, and went on to defeat Republican Randy Brock in the general election.[3]


Beginning in 1999 Zuckerman and his wife Rachel Nevitt built a successful organic farm in Burlington's Intervale, a network of a dozen farms located in and serving the city.[11] Zuckerman served on the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. He is also a member of the Vermont Farm Bureau and Northeast Organic Farming Association chapter in Vermont.[11]

In 2009, Zuckerman and Nevitt moved their farm to 150 acres (610,000 m2) in Hinesburg where they grow 20 acres (81,000 m2) of vegetables and CBD and raise 1000 chickens.[11][22] Their produce is almost exclusively sold within Chittenden County.[23] They operate a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) with 275 members, a winter CSA with 125 members, and sell year round at the local Burlington farmers market.[24]

Political positions[edit]


Zuckerman has been a strong advocate of raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, and increasing protections for workers.[25]

Opposition to Bush administration[edit]

On April 25, 2006, Zuckerman introduced a resolution for the Vermont State Legislature to ask the United States Congress to impeach President George W. Bush.[26] The motion failed 87–60 in a roll call vote on April 25, 2007.[27]

Property tax reform[edit]

Zuckerman supported a bill to lower property tax rates for households earning less than $200,000 in the 2015–16 session.[28] He also helped pass legislation to model this reform in time for the 2017 session.[29]

Equal pay[edit]

Zuckerman was a sponsor of H.440 in 2001, a bill which would require equal pay for equal work.[30]

GMO labeling[edit]

In 2014, Zuckerman was the lead Senate author of Vermont's first-in-the-nation GMO Labeling Law.[31]


Zuckerman is critical of the philosophy of mandatory vaccinations.[32][33] He has said that he is skeptical about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's position on vaccines due to its purported connections to the pharmaceutical industry, but believes the science of vaccination is sound.[32] He said that he believed that most people should vaccinate their children, but believes in exemptions for medical or religious reasons.[34] He said that some of his constituents had said that vaccines gave their children allergic reactions.[34] He has said that his own daughter is vaccinated.[32]


  1. ^ "Elected Progressives". The Vermont Progressive Party. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  2. ^ Heintz, Paul. "Scott's Victory Lap: Gov Wins Third Term, Gray Elected LG, Speaker Johnson Falls Short". Seven Days. Seven Days.
  3. ^ a b DeSmet, Nicole Higgins (August 9, 2016). "Zuckerman wins race for Dems lt. governor". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved August 11, 2016.
  4. ^ McCullum, April (November 9, 2016). "RESULTS: Zuckerman wins lt. governor's race". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT.
  5. ^ True, Morgan (November 9, 2016). "Zuckerman Takes Lieutenant Governor Post". VT Digger. Montpelier, VT. Archived from the original on November 21, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  6. ^ Office of the Vermont Secretary of State (2014). "General Election results, Auditor of Accounts: 1884-2014" (PDF). www.sec.state.vt.us/. Montpelier, VT: Vermont State Archives and Records Administration. p. 12. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 22, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  7. ^ Kinzel, Bob (January 13, 2020). "Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman Confirms The Speculation: He's Running For Governor In 2020". Vermont Public Radio. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  8. ^ Hirschfeld, Peter. "Phil Scott Garners Third Term As Governor In Landslide Win Over Zuckerman". VPR.
  9. ^ Muddy River Annual. Brookline: Brookline High School. 1989.
  10. ^ "I’ve got 10 generations of New England Yankee blood in me and a Jewish father as well," Zuckerman said. "Between the two, (I’m) pretty darn frugal." Jasper Craven (September 15, 2016). "Lieutenant governor hopefuls differ on style and substance". VT Digger.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Craven, Jasper (November 20, 2015). "Zuckerman adds name as candidate for lieutenant governor". Mountain Times. Killington, VT. VT Digger. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Candidate biography, David E. Zuckerman". VT Digger. Montpelier, VT. 2016. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "About Dave". Zuckerman for Chittenden County. David Zuckerman. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Candidate biography, David E. Zuckerman".
  15. ^ Hallenbeck, Terri (February 16, 2006). "Zuckerman Bows Out of House Race; Criticizes Voting By Fear". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  16. ^ "Zuckerman Bows Out of House Race".
  17. ^ Galloway, Anne (November 7, 2012). "Dems sweep all but one statewide seat, hold "supermajority" in House, Senate". VT Digger. Archived from the original on April 8, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  18. ^ Remsen, Nancy (January 7, 2013). "The everyday farmers' perspective Work informs goals for two new Senators". Burlington Free Press. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  19. ^ Zuckerman, David (2014). "S. 306, as Introduced by Senator Zuckerman" (PDF). leg.state.vt.us/. Montpelier, VT: Vermont general Assembly. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "S. 306, as Introduced by Senator Zuckerman".
  21. ^ Heintz, Paul (August 2, 2016). "In Race for LG, Sanders Endorses Zuckerman, Dean Backs Smith". Seven Days. Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  22. ^ "The Farm". Full Moon Farm. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  23. ^ "About Full Moon Farm". Full Moon Farm. Hinesburg, VT: Full Moon Farm Inc. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "About Full Moon Farm".
  25. ^ Hallenbeck, Terri (November 9, 2016). "Vermont Picks Zuckerman for Lieutenant Governor, Donovan for Attorney General". Seven Days. Burlington, VT. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  26. ^ Allen, Darren (April 25, 2006). "Some Vt. lawmakers push for Bush impeachment". Rutland, VT: Rutland Herald.
  27. ^ "Vermont House Rejects Impeachment Resolution". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
  28. ^ Jickling, Katie (September 8, 2016). "Zuckerman Vows To Build Engagement as Vt.'s #2". Randolph Herald. Randolph, VT. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  29. ^ "Zuckerman Vows To Build Engagement as Vt.’s #2".
  30. ^ "The Vermont Legislative Bill Tracking System". www.leg.state.vt.us. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  31. ^ Gillam, Carey (April 26, 2014). "Vermont governor says he'll sign GMO food-labeling bill". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, ME. Reuters. Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  32. ^ a b c "Anti-vaxx politicians under fire as coronavirus spreads". POLITICO. March 21, 2020.
  33. ^ Bob Kinzel; The Associated Press (April 22, 2015). "Senate Votes To Remove Philosophical Vaccine Exemption". www.vpr.org.
  34. ^ a b "VT senator tearfully explains vote after criticism". Burlington Free Press. April 25, 2015.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Phil Scott
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Molly Gray
Party political offices
Preceded by
Christine Hallquist
Democratic nominee for Governor of Vermont
Most recent