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Balint and White unofficial winners for State Senate

BRATTLEBORO—BRATTLEBORO — Democrats Becca Balint and Jeanette White have clinched the Windham Senate race, according to the unofficial count on the Secretary of State’s elections website.

As of 10:30 Tuesday night, with 19 of 24 districts reporting, Balint had captured 29.62 percent of the vote and White, 30.15 percent.

This will be Balint’s second term. White will start her 15th year in the statehouse. Incumbents Balint, of Brattleboro, and White, of Putney, ran against independent David Schoales and Liberty Union candidates Aaron Diamondstone and Jerry Levy.

In her first term, Balint served on the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs and the Senate Committee on Institutions. She also worked on the Legislative Committee on Judicial Rules and a task force seeking to reduce bias among Vermont law enforcement.

Balint is a writer and educator who has served on local boards such as Brattleboro’s Development Review Board and Representative Town Meeting. She is married to attorney Elizabeth R. Wohl. The couple has two children.

White chairs the Senate Committee on Government Operations and serves on the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Her other legislative service includes the Senate Sexual Harassment Panel, the Government Accountability Committee, and the Public Records Legislative Study Committee. She co-sponsored a bill last session to legalize marijuana.

White grew up on a farm in Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology and a master’s degree in Community Development and Community Education. White and husband Bill have two children.

Balint and White took early leads in voting, which they held throughout the night.

In an interesting twist, blank votes — meaning ballots where voters left the senate section blank — took third place in the count, earning 16.54 percent of the “votes.”

Schoales came in at fourth place with 14.54 percent of the votes.

Liberty Union candidates Levy and Diamondstone followed with just under four percent each.

The candidates didn’t return phone calls by press time.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #382 (Wednesday, November 9, 2016). This story appeared on page A5.

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