Scott vs. Minter: How the race played out

Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott celebrates his victory on Tuesday, Nov. 8. (Times Argus/Stefan Hard)

MONTPELIER — After months of campaigning, millions of dollars spent and countless hours of plotting and strategizing from both campaigns, in the end, the gubernatorial race in Vermont was not a close contest. Republican Phil Scott, the state’s current lieutenant governor, and now governor-elect, beat Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter by a very comfortable margin — 52 percent to 43.5 percent. Public polls commissioned by Vermont Public Radio and WCAX released in mid-October showed a closer race, with Scott leading by 1 percent and 7 percent, respectively. There was plenty of speculation in the days before Election Day that the winner may only receive a plurality, and once again, the race would be tossed to the Legislature to finish. But it was not close. Continue Reading →

Sanders doesn’t rule out a 2020 White House run

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a primary night rally in Essex Junction, Vt., Tuesday, March 1, 2016, on Super Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bernie Sanders is leaving open the possibility of another presidential bid, saying in a Thursday interview that he wants to focus on helping the party rebuild its base after Donald Trump’s victory. “Four years is a long time from now,” said the 75-year-old Vermont senator, noting that he faces re-election to the Senate in 2018. But he added: “We’ll take one thing at a time, but I’m not ruling out anything.” Sanders gave voice to the frustration among many liberals in the aftermath of Trump’s stunning triumph over Hillary Clinton. He told The Associated Press in a phone interview that millions of working-class voters’ decision to back Trump was “an embarrassment” to the party and that Democrats must take a strong stand against the role of corporate interests in politics. Continue Reading →

Gov.-elect Scott begins transition, pledges to find common ground with Democrats

Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott speaks to reporters the day after winning Vermont's gubernatorial race. (Times Argus/Jeb Wallace-Brodeur)

MONTPELIER — Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott claimed a mandate Wednesday for his incoming administration to focus on the economy while pledging to work with the Democratic-led Legislature to improve the fiscal lives of Vermonters. Scott, 58, defeated Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter Tuesday by a 52 percent to 43.5 percent margin. In January he will be sworn in as the state’s 82nd governor. But Vermonters send mixed signals at the voting booth. They opted for Progress and Democratic nominee David Zuckerman over Republican Randy Brock for lieutenant governor, and Senate Democrats expanded their dominance by two seats and now control 23 of the 30 total seats. Continue Reading →

Podcast: Gov. Shumlin reflects on the 2016 election

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Gov. Peter Shumlin chats with Vermont Press Bureau Chief Neal Goswami about the 2016 election, and what it means for Vermont and the country. MONTPELIER — Outgoing Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin pledged his full support to Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott Wednesday whom he praised for running a good campaign, but was extremely critical of Republican President-elect Donald Trump and the campaign he ran to win the White House. Shumlin announced in June 2015 that he would not seek re-election after nearly losing his bid for a third term in 2014. With his approval rating under water, Shumlin avoided the campaign trail as Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter sought to succeed him. But, perhaps weighed down by Shumlin’s six-year tenure, she was handily defeated by Scott on Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Doyle loses re-election bid to Brooks, knocked out after serving since 1969

Francis Brooks (VPR photo)

MONTPELIER — Francis Brooks, with 15.52 percent of the vote, took one of Washington County’s three senate seats away from longtime Republican Sen. Bill Doyle Tuesday. Bill Doyle, who has served in the state Senate without interruption since 1969, narrowly fell into fourth place in the district with 15.3 percent of the vote according to the Secretary of State’s Office, with all districts reporting. With fellow incumbents Ann Cummings, D-Montpelier, and Anthony Pollina, D-Middlesex, pacing the six-candidate field, the race was for third place as midnight approached and Doyle’s bid for a 25th consecutive two-year term was on life support. Cummings was comfortably ahead with 16,742, and Pollina was a safe second with 14,950 votes, but Brooks was pushing for the first partisan sweep in the county’s Senate race in more than three decades and perhaps the first Democratic sweep ever. With Woodbury left to report its results Tuesday night, Brooks was in third place with 13,479 votes and Doyle was a hair behind with 13,343 votes. Continue Reading →

Round up: Mixed bag for central Vermont House members

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Below are the results from several House races:

NORTHFIELD — Incumbent Republican Reps. Anne Donahue and Patti Lewis fended off two challengers to win re-election Tuesday. Donahue secured the most votes in the four-way race for two House seats, winning 2,171 votes, or about 36 percent of the votes cast. Lewis, meanwhile, came in second with 1,691 votes, about 28 percent of the votes cast in the Washington-1 House district, which includes the towns of Northfield and Berlin, according to results gathered by the Associated Press. The two Republicans faced challenges from Progressive Jeremy Hanson and Democrat Gordon Bock. Continue Reading →

Zuckerman defeats Brock for LG

Sen. David Zuckerman

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. Continue Reading →

Scott wins gubernatorial race

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott

BURLINGTON — Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott won a decisive victory in Democratic leaning Vermont Tuesday and will become the state’s 82nd governor in January. With 224 of 275 voting districts reporting, Scott led Minter by a 54 percent to 42 percent margin with nearly 260,000 votes counted. Scott jumped out to an early lead on Minter, but the Democratic strong-hold of Burlington had yet to report results. Still, Scott bested Minter in other parts of Chittenden County — the state’s most populous. “For everyone that voted for me, your support means so much. Continue Reading →

Donovan takes AG race

Democrat T.J. Donovan speaks to supporters after winning his race for attorney general. (Stefan Hard/Times Argus)

BURLINGTON — Democrat T.J. Donovan cruised to victory Tuesday over Republican Deb Bucknam and will become the state’s next attorney general in January. Donovan, 42, was easily outpacing Bucknam with 62 of 276 voting districts reporting results to the Associated Press. Donovan had a lead of 63 percent to 33 percent and Bucknam conceded the race shortly after 9 p.m.

Donovan will replace Attorney General Bill Sorrell, who chose not to seek re-election after he was first appointed to the position by former Democratic Gov. Howard Dean 19 years ago. Donovan said the race “was about the issues and we did it the Vermont way.”

“Thank you, Deb Bucknam,” he said. He noted his narrow loss to Sorrell in a Democratic primary four years ago, but said he and his supporters continued “to fight to level the playing field for all Vermonters” since then. Continue Reading →