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White, Galbraith win state senate race over Corum, Cooke

Windham County’s two state senate seats stayed in Democratic hands on Tuesday as Sen. Jeanette White of Putney won her fifth term. She will be joined by former U.S. ambassador Peter Galbraith of Townshend.

White and Galbraith defeated Republican challengers Lynn Corum and Hilary Cooke, both of Brattleboro.

On Wednesday afternoon, with 91 percent of the vote counted, Galbraith was the top vote getter with 8,760 votes. White was close behind with 8,401 votes. Cooke got 4,540 votes and Corum had 3,734. Third-party candidate Aaron Diamondstone received 688 votes.

Galbraith will succeed Peter Shumlin, who gave up his seat to run for governor.

“I am grateful to the voters of Windham County for hiring me,” said Galbraith. “I know there’s a tough job ahead and I am looking forward to getting down to work,” adding that health care reform, expanded broadband Internet coverage and “addressing in a responsible way the fiscal challenges our state faces” will be among the major issues he hopes to work on in office.

For White, the feeling of running for office remains a humbling experience.

“Whenever I see my name on a lawn sign or on a ballot, I get a little tickle inside,” she said. “I am honored that people have enough faith in me that they want me to return to Montpelier to make decisions for them.”

White said she hopes to remain in her current committee assignments in the Senate. She is the chair of the Government Operations Committee, and is a member of the Government Accountability and Institutions committees.

Corum, a longtime member of the Brattleboro Union High School Board, said she “knew that winning my race was a long shot.” She said she didn’t invest a lot of resources into her campaign for that reason.

Cooke, an insurance consultant, was making his first run for public office. Unlike Corum, he did invest much of his time and resources on this campaign and was deeply disappointed at losing.

“They [White and Galbraith] ran an excellent race,” said Cooke. “The voters made a clear choice that they wanted to give Jeanette another opportunity to serve in the Senate and that they wanted to give Peter a chance to serve.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #74 (Wednesday, November 3, 2010).

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