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Now that state House Speaker Shap Smith (D) is out of the 2016 Vermont governor’s race, other candidates have a void to fill. Smith had the highest name ID among any Democratic candidate, and was the only one currently in elected office. Former state transportation secretary Sue Minter (D) and former state Sen. Matt Dunne (D) “say Smith's decision has no impact on their campaign strategies.” (Burlington Free Press)

SOFTER ON REFUGEES. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott (R) softened his stance on Syrian refugees. Scott “said he has become more comfortable with the vetting of Syrian refugees after learning more about how refugees are screened before they are brought to the United States.” (AP)

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