Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith is set to announce his candidacy for the 2016 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
The 49-year-old Morristown resident is due to appear with family, friends and supporters at an event in downtown Morrisville at 11 a.m. Wednesday to declare his candidacy.
The governor's office will be open for the first time since 2010, when Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin won his first of three two-year terms. Shumlin announced in June he won't seek a fourth term.
Smith is in his seventh term in the House and has been speaker since 2009.
He's expected to face a primary challenge from former lawmaker Matt Dunne of Hartland. Transportation Secretary and former House member Sue Minter also is considering entering the race.