MONTPELIER — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne revealed to reporters Thursday that he was arrested three times in college and suffered a stroke in 2006.
The arrests, two for driving under the influence of alcohol and one for possession marijuana and cocaine, all resulted in convictions. Milne said in a telephone interview Thursday that the cases were “settled as expeditiously as possible without spending money on counsel.”
“I don’t think about them on a daily basis, but my presumption is they are part of the public record,” he said.
All three arrests took place during an “irresponsible” 18-month period about 35 years ago, according to Milne. He said he learned from those mistakes and made lifestyle changes to build “the foundation of a life dedicated to personal responsibility and improvement.”
“Though I was academically successful, I was making poor choices. These were embarrassing and powerful life lessons of which I am not proud,” he said in the statement.
“Shortly after these incidents, I stopped using drugs and committed to only consume alcohol in moderation.”
In 2006, Milne suffered an ischemic stroke caused by a blood clot in his brain. He said he has made a full recovery, suffers “very little residual effect” and has been cleared by doctors to campaign and serve as governor.
“Basically, I have a little bit of numbness on one side of my body and that really is about it,” Milne said.
He gave credit for his recovery to his daughter who he said sought immediate medical attention when the stroke occurred.
Milne, who has yet to formally launch his campaign since filing to challenge Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 12, said he wanted the information about his past to out in the open. He said facts about his past “might be important and relevant” to supporters.
“I think we wanted to get it out. If we started to campaign earlier we would have sent it out a lot earlier,” he said. “It was a consideration when I was weighing whether or not to run.”
Milne, in the statement sent to reporters, said “Vermonters have a right to a governor who is up front and transparent.”
He promised transparency about his personal life as well as the “economic challenges and crisis of affordability we face as a state.”
He said he hopes sharing the information demonstrates “that transparency is more than just a talking point.” Sharing the information will also allow voters to “fully evaluate which candidate they will elect as governor for the next two years,” he said.
Milne said he hopes to put his past behind him ahead of an official campaign kickoff event. Revealing it now may help him avoid having it “be part of that story.”
Finally, in his statement, Milne said he wanted to “diminish the opportunity that my opponent or his partisan apparatus from Washington, D.C., would have to use my health records and youthful mistakes as a political tactic that distracts from the financial burden their policies have imposed on working families.”
He said, “From this point forward, our campaign will focus on the challenges Vermont faces and on convincing Vermonters that I can better manage state government and be a stronger advocate for job creation, an economy that ensures the economic security of every family and making our state — including health care and property taxes — much more affordable.”
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