BURLINGTON — Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman has defeated Republican Randy Brock in the race for lieutenant governor and will become the highest-ranking Progressive in state history.
Zuckerman, the Democratic and Progressive nominee, won just over 50 percent of the vote, while Brock won about 44 percent. Brock called Zuckerman just after midnight Wednesday to concede the race.
Zuckerman will succeed Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott for the state’s second-highest office. Scott won the governor’s seat Tuesday in a wider-than-expected margin over Democrat Sue Minter.
A member of the Progressive Party for many years, Zuckerman ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. He defeated two traditional Democrats — House Speaker Shap Smith and Burlington Rep. Kesha Ram — to secure the Democratic nomination.
Zuckerman, 45, an organic farmer who has served in both the House and Senate but never before run statewide, advocated for more progressive policies — including marijuana legalization, universal health care and improving the state’s rural economy. He has championed liberal causes during his long legislative career in both the House and Senate, including GMO labeling, same-sex marriage and paid sick leave.
Brock, 73, a former Franklin County state senator, state auditor and the 2012 GOP nominee for governor, focused his campaign on improving the state’s economy and reversing some of the major reforms in health care implemented by Democrats in recent years.
The two ran starkly different campaigns. After polling showed Zuckerman ahead by comfortable margins in mid-October, Brock went on the attack, launching radio and television ads attack Zuckerman’s character. Zuckerman who received a boost from Sen. Bernie Sanders with an endorsement just before the August primary, maintained his focus on his core issues.
Zuckerman will now preside over the Vermont Senate — the only official duty of the lieutenant governor. He has promised to advocate for issues he supports as the state’s second-in-command.