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Treasurer Contest Shapes Up as Vermont's Toughest

Republican Wendy Wilton and Democrat Beth Pearce are engaged in the toughest political battle in Vermont this season: the race for state treasurer. And it may be the best chance the GOP has to pick up a statewide office next week.

Former Gov. Jim Douglas already has endorsed Wilton, and on Wednesday, former Gov. Howard Dean endorsed his fellow Democrat Beth Pearce for state treasurer, saying that Pearce will bring a nonpartisan approach to the office.

Dean appeared with Pearce Wednesday at the Statehouse, where he criticized Republican treasurer candidate Wendy Wilton as being too partisan for the treasurer's job.

Dean says Pearce is the better choice because she has spent her career in government finance and has a strong professional record.

Pearce was appointed to the job in January of 2011 after the just re-elected incumbent, Jeb Spaulding, was appointed administration secretary by Gov. Peter Shumlin. It's her first run for elective office in Vermont.

Wilton is a former one-term state senator from Rutland County who has served as Rutland city treasurer since 2007.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.