Minter And Scott Win Vermont Gubernatorial Primaries
The results are in and November’s race for Vermont’s open governor’s seat is set. Democrat Sue Minter and Republican Phil Scott will face off in the general election after winning primaries that ended up not being as close as some had anticipated.
There were five candidates in the Democratic primary for Vermont governor. Unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office show with 271 of 275 districts counted, Sue Minter has won with 49.71 percent of the vote. Matt Dunne received 36.63 percent and Peter Galbraith 9 percent. Cris Ericson and Brooke Paige both received less than 1 percent of the vote.
Minter’s campaign headquarters at Main Street Landing in Burlington was packed Tuesday evening with excited supporters as her victory became apparent.
Minter thanked supporters and told them she is ready to “carry the torch forward” into the general election campaign. “I've been traveling every corner and really visiting Vermonters and talking about their challenges and their opportunities. And it is their focus, their tenacity that is actually the energy that carries me forward and has driven me every day of this campaign. I am incredibly proud to be standing up and fighting for our shared vision of what Vermont can be. We need to charge forward to the future. On to November!”
Minter and Matt Dunne were considered the frontrunners in the Democratic primary. Dunne, a former state representative and senator, lost a bid for governor in 2010. He was at his campaign headquarters at ArtsRiot in Burlington consoling supporters. “My work has not just been in politics. It's been in a variety of different fields and in all of them it's about being able to make a difference. I was happy to put myself out there to see if this was a way that I could make a difference in the state that I love in the next chapter in my life. That didn’t work out. And what we're going to do is find a different way.”
Dunne concedes that he was hurt by what some perceived as a turnabout in wind policy late in the campaign. “I think the wind issue was one that had a surprising amount of volatility and it was one that I thought was just a basic value that Vermonters would have.”
The results in the Republican primary show current Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott with 59.79 percent, well ahead of former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman’s 38.97 percent. Lisman acknowledges it was his first campaign and while disappointed to lose, he will support Scott in the general election. “I thought we were going to do better. Our own internal numbers said we were doing a lot better. And, you know, it happens. I like to think of the kind of issues we raised during the campaign. How hard we worked. How we listened to Vermonters and raised the issues that they were raising with me. And now it's up to the two finalists to do the right thing. And I'm very confident Phil Scott will. He's my guy. I'm supporting him a hundred percent and I want everybody out there to support him.”
The GOP primary was bitter and contentious with the two candidates trading barbs over Lisman’s flood of negative ads. On primary night, Lisman was pragmatic regarding their impact on the race. “It doesn't matter. I think people have an opinion. My own was that we did the best we could at going from zero recognition to whatever, ninety, and going from really forty points back to twenty points back or whatever it ended up being.”
The Secretary of State’s office calculates that more than 71,000 Democrats and nearly 46,000 Republicans voted in the gubernatorial primaries.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Senator David Zuckerman appears to have edged House Speaker Shap Smith in the Democratic primary. Republican Randy Brock ran unopposed.