Primaries Yield High Turnout

Front Page / Aug. 11, 2016 9:12am EDT

Incumbents Fare Well in Area Vote
By Katie Jickling

With the ballots counted, Vermont reached a 40- year high in voter turnout Tuesday.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State’s office announced that 119,541 Vermonters cast their votes in Tuesday’s election.

Statewide, Democrat Sue Minter and Republican Phil Scott clinched the nominations of their respective parties for a shot at Vermont’s top job.

Minter, the state’s former secretary of transportation, earned 51% and nearly 36,000 votes to beat Matt Dunne’s 38% in the Democratic primary for governor. Peter Galbraith trailed significantly, with 9% of the vote. Cris Ericson and Brooke Paige each garnered a few hundred votes. Scott bested Bruce Lisman by a 22-point margin to win the Republican gubernatorial primary contest 61% to 39%.

A competitive Democratic lieutenant governor’s race also drew voters to the polls.

On the Democratic ballot, Chittenden County Sen. David Zuckerman (44%), a Progressive, prevailed over four-term House Speaker Shap Smith (38%) and Burlington representative Kesha Ram (17%). On November 8, Zuckerman will face off against Randy Brock, who ran uncontested for the Republican slot.

T.J. Donovan won the democratic race for Vermont attorney general, running to replace outgoing A.G. Bill Sorrell.

Incumbent Beth Pearce clinched the nomination for state treasurer.

Few local races were contested.

Locally, incumbent Windsor County Sen. Dick McCormack won 30% of the vote, in a four-way contest for three seats. Newcomer Alison Clarkson came in second with 27% and 5,129 votes. Incumbent Alice Nitka clinched the third seat in the county, edging out Conor Kennedy by a 4% margin.

Clarkson and Kennedy entered the race following the resignation earlier this year of Senate president pro tem John Campbell of Quechee.

In Windsor-Orange 2, two Democratic incumbents retained their seats in the Vermont House. Tim Briglin and Jim Masland, both Thetford residents, pulled in 43% and 39% of the vote, respectively, over newcomer Nick Clark’s 17%.

Write-In Success

Bob Frenier, of Chelsea, earned enough votes for a spot the Orange 1 ballot as a Republican in November. In Chelsea alone, he was written-in 55 times, surpassing the 25 votes necessary to appear on the ballot.

Frenier will face incumbents Susan Hatch Davis (P, Washington), and Rodney Graham (R, Williams­town), as well as Adam DesLauriers (D, Washington) in the two-seat district.

In Randolph, write-in candidate Bob Orleck also garnered the votes to join Patsy French (D, Randolph), Jay Hooper (D, Brookfield), and Ben Jickling (I, Brookfield) on the Orange-Wash.-Addison ballot (see other article).

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