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Scott clinches third term as Democrats sweep rest of statewide ballot

Gray wins lieutenant governor race; county incumbents hold their seats

Updated on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 11:10 a.m.

There were few surprises in Vermont on Tuesday as the combination of mail-in voting and a bitterly contested presidential election led to a heavy turnout and a sweep for Democrats running for statewide office — with one prominent exception.

As was the case in 2018, incumbent Gov. Phil Scott was the only Republican candidate to win a statewide race.

In unofficial results with 99 percent of towns reporting as of Wednesday morning, Scott won his third term as governor, turning aside the challenge of Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman (currently the lieutenant governor), and six independent and third-party candidates.

Scott won 67 percent of the vote with 247,237 to Zuckerman’s 27 percent with 98,943.

Emily Peyton of Putney, who lost in the Republican primary in August, ran under the banner of the Truth Matters party. She and independents Wayne Billado III of St. Albans, Michael A. Devost of Newport City, Kevin Hoyt of Bennington, Erynn Hazlett Whitney of Arlington, and unaffiliated candidate Charly Dickerson of Montpelier collectively got about 4 percent of the vote.

In Windham County, only three towns went for Zuckerman: Putney, by a 805 to592 margin, and Brattleboro, where he defeated Scott, 3,262 to 2,855, and Marlboro, 368 to 255. The only other town that Zuckerman won was Burlington, with a narrow 10,600–10,545 victory.

It was also a sweep for Democratic and independent candidates in Windham County.

And there was no doubt about who won the presidential election in Vermont. The Associated Press called the race for former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald J. Trump within minutes of the polls closing at 7 p.m.

Biden picked up nearly 66 percent of the vote with 242,026 votes, to Trump’s 30 percent, with 111,865 votes. Nineteen independent and third-party candidates split the rest of the votes.

Statewide candidates

Lieutenant Governor: With Zuckerman running for governor, the lieutenant governor race was incumbent-free, and Democrat Molly Gray of Burlington edged Republican Scott Milne of Pomfret, with 49.5 percent, 182,268 votes, for Gray and 42.5 percent, 156,393 votes, for Milne.

Billado, Progressive Cris Ericson of Chester, and Ralph Corbo of Wallingford, who was running for the Ban the F-35s party, picked up about 4 percent of the vote among them.

U.S. House: Incumbent Democrat Peter Welch easily won re-election against the six challengers for his seat: Miriam Berry of Essex (Republican), Christopher Helali (Communist), and independents Peter R. Becker of Rutland, Marcia Horne of Barre, Shawn Orr of Weston, and Jerry Trudell of St. George.

Welch won with 65 percent of the vote. Berry was a distant second with 26 percent of the vote, and the other five candidates divvied up the remaining votes.

State Treasurer: Democratic incumbent Beth Pearce defeated Republican Carolyn Whitney Branagan of Georgia, Progressive Cris Ericson, and independent Alex Wright of Essex. Pearce got nearly 54 percent of the vote to Branagan’s 31 percent. Wright got 5 percent and Ericson, 4 percent.

State Auditor: Democratic incumbent Doug Hoffer defeated Ericson. Hoffer picked up 73 percent of the vote.

Attorney General: Democratic incumbent T.J. Donovan defeated Republican H. Brooke Paige of Washington, and Ericson. Donovan got 63.5 percent of the vote, Paige got 26 percent, and Ericson got 4.3 percent.

Secretary of State: Incumbent Democrat Jim Condos defeated Paige, Ericson, and independent Pamala Smith of St. Albans. Condos received 58 percent of the vote, while Paige got 27 percent, Smith had about 6 percent, and Ericson had 3 percent.

County races

State Senate: Incumbent Democrats Jeanette White of Putney and Becca Balint of Brattleboro easily won re-election to their respective state senate seats.

With 87 percent of the vote counted, Balint was tops with 13,757 votes, or 38 percent, with White garnering 12,871 votes for 36 percent.

Republican challengers John Lyddy of Whitingham and Marcus Parish of Rockingham each received about 11 percent of the vote and independent challenger Tyler Colford of Whitingham got 3 percent.

House of Representatives: In Windham 2-1, incumbent Emile Kornheiser, D-Brattleboro, easily turned aside a challenge by Republican Party County Chair Richard Morton of Brattleboro. Kornheiser received 1,708 votes to Morton’s 560.

Longtime incumbent Rep. Carolyn Partridge, D-Windham, and Democratic primary winner Leslie Goldman, D-Rockingham won the two seats in Windham-3, with 38 and 39 percent of the votes, respectively. Independent Ryan Coyne of Rockingham was third.

Incumbent Rep. Mike Mrowicki, D-Putney, and Democratic primary winner Michelle Bos-Lun of Westminster won the two seats in Windham-4. Bos-Lun got 3,259 votes, Mrowicki got 3,357 votes, and Republican write-in candidate Mark Coester finished a distant third with 141 votes.

Two-term incumbent Rep. John Gannon, D-Wilmington, defeated Republican Amy Kamstra of Halifax for the Windham-6 seat, 1,324 to 906.

Incumbent Rep. Laura Sibilia, I-Dover, beat Republican Matthew Somerville for the Windham-Bennington district seat by a nearly a 2-to-1 margin, 1,520 to 866.

Winning their unopposed races were Windham-1 Rep. Sara Coffey, D-Guilford; Windham 2-2 Rep. Mollie Burke, P/D-Brattleboro; Windham 2-3 Rep. Tristan Toleno, D-Brattleboro; Windham-5 Rep. Emily Long, D-Newfane; and Windham-Bennington-Windsor Rep. Kelly Pajala, I-Londonderry.

County Democratic Chair John Hagen was unopposed for the position of high bailiff.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #586 (Wednesday, November 4, 2020). This story appeared on page A1.

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