The local outlet VTDigger reports that progressive Vermont politician Dean Corren has died. He was 67 years old.
News about Corren's passing comes by way of Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman.
On his Facebook page, Zuckerman wrote:
On Tuesday night I was notified that my long-time friend and political mentor Dean Corren had just passed away from a significant cardiac event earlier that evening.
Later on in his post, Zuckerman added, "most everyone was in shock, as he was only 67 and in generally good health."
Corren was a major player in Vermont politics. He was one of the co-founders of the Vermont Progressive Party.
Corren's political career got going in 1988 when he was appointed to the Burlington Electric Commission. At the time, Corren was a member of the Democratic Party. Corren remained in this position for several years.
In 1990, Corren, as an independent candidate, attempted to become a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. He ran unsuccessfully out of the Chittenden 7-3 district. Corren, in 1992, tried again for a Vermont House seat, and, this time, he was successful.
Ultimately, Corren would serve four terms in the Vermont House, and, in 1996, he ran as a member of the Progressive Coalition. Corren chose not to pursue reelection in 2000. In 2014, Corren, as a progressive, attempted to get back into politics, this time, by running for lieutenant governor, but, his campaign was unsuccessful.
Corren was embroiled in controversy as he sent text messages to individuals asking for their vote despite the fact that some of the people whom he sent the text messages to had chosen not to receive them. Corren subsequently faced charges alleging campaign finance violations, but the charges would eventually be dismissed.
Here's what Zuckerman wrote about Corren's politics in the message Zuckerman posted to his Facebook page following the news of Corren's passing:
I learned so much from him about how to put forward brave policy ideas and how to build coalitions. He also taught me how to fight both within and against the system that has created or perpetuated many of the environmental, social and economic problems we face today.
That probably tells one everything he or she needs to know about Corren's politics.
He was in favor of single-payer healthcare and of allowing civil unions for same-sex couples. He was also in favor of the left's climate change agenda.
Corren did work under U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for a period of time. Sanders, at the time of this writing, has not commented on Corren's passing.
Corren is survived by his wife, Cindy Wolkin; his son, Sidney Corren; and three stepdaughters.