MONTPELIER — Governor Peter Shumlin made official Tuesday what had been expected for some time: He will be seeking a second two-year term in November.
For months, Shumlin, a Democrat, had brushed aside questions about his candidacy, saying he wanted to focus on governing rather than campaigning. But with Thursday’s deadline for filing as a candidate, Shumlin filed formal nominating papers with the secretary of state on Tuesday.
He will still wait until sometime around Labor Day for a formal campaign kickoff, said Kate O’Connor, his campaign’s treasurer and its lone staff member for now.
Shumlin said in a statement that he was proud of what he had accomplished during his first 17 months in office.
‘‘Yet there is more work to do, and I look forward to continuing our jobs agenda: creating jobs and more economic opportunities for Vermonters, containing the skyrocketing cost of health care, continuing Irene recovery, expanding broadband and cell service across our state, and investing in our renewable energy future and children’s education,’’ he said.
Shumlin faces a challenge from state Senator Randy Brock, Republican of Franklin. Brock did not respond immediately to a message at his home.
Shumlin’s first term has been marked by the first stages of meeting a 2010 campaign promise of moving toward universal health insurance coverage while reining in health care costs. The Legislature, controlled by Shumlin’s party, passed a law in 2010 meant to put Vermont on the path toward a government-run, single-payer health care system by 2017.
Republicans have sharply criticized the law, especially the administration’s plan not to spell out until after the November election how much the new health care system is likely to cost and how it will be paid for. Brock has said he supports an alternative including health savings accounts and rebates for those with healthy lifestyles.
Shumlin had to add natural disaster recovery to his priorities on Aug. 28, when Tropical Storm Irene swept through the state, six people were killed, and roads, bridges, and public and private property saw widespread damage.