Blog: Commissioner of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak running for treasurer – Bennington Banner

Commissioner of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak is running for the Democratic nomination for treasurer, he told Vermont News & Media on Friday morning. 

A formal announcement was planned for early Friday afternoon in Montpelier on the Vermont Supreme Court lawn.

A Brattleboro native who served in the department under Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin and Republican Gov. Phil Scott, Pieciak announced last month he would be stepping down as commissioner on May 16. 

Friday, Pieciak said he had been considering entering politics at some point down the road. But that timetable moved up when current treasurer Beth Pearce let him know that she would be stepping down at the end of this year.

Pearce announced her retirement on Wednesday, saying she’s been diagnosed with cancer and is focusing her attention on that fight. 

Pieciak said the state’s big challenges — affordability, housing, workforce development and climate change — in many ways tie back to its economy and financial health.

“Those are all critical big picture issues the next generation of Vermonters have to wrestle with,” he said. “For all those reasons this office was appealing to me.”

An attorney and Democrat, Pieciak was appointed Commissioner of Financial Regulation by Shumlin in 2016 and remained in that office under Scott. He became more visible during the pandemic when his department was put in charge of data modeling how the virus behaved and predicting infection and hospitalization trends — and he was called upon to present that data to Vermonters weekly. 

Pieciak was part of the pension unfunded liability task force that produced a compromise plan to pay down that multi-billion dollar obligation, said Friday he supports the bill passed by the Legislature and vetoed by Scott. The Senate unanimously overrode Scott’s veto earlier this week.

“I voted for it at the time and I’d vote for it again,” he said. 

Greg Sukiennik covers government and politics for Vermont News & Media. Reach him at gsukiennik@benningtonbanner.com.

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