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Vermonters Electing Top Officials And State Legislature

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Vermont's top political leaders and their challengers will learn their fates Tuesday after polls close in the 2018 midterm elections.

In addition to local issues in some communities, voters will be choosing among candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and all 180 members of the Legislature.

Polls across the state open at varying times Tuesday morning, but all close at 7 p.m.

The race between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democrat Christine Hallquist offers voters a clear choice between their policies. Hallquist, a former utility executive who is the first transgender major-party gubernatorial nominee in history, campaigned with of a promise of a $15 minimum wage, universal health care and paid family leave. Scott's campaign focused on a theme of not raising taxes or fees as part of a broader effort to promote economic development.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, is seeking a third term. He is being challenged by Republican businessman Lawrence Zupan.

Sanders, who may still be considering a second run for the presidency in 2020, is seeking re-election Tuesday to the seat he has held since his 2006 election. He has spent little time campaigning in the state ahead of Tuesday's election.

He is running against Zupan, a Manchester real estate broker with experience in international trade, who campaigned against what he felt was big government and social welfare programs.

And Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat who was first elected in 2006 and has consistently been one of Vermont's most popular politicians, is defending his seat against Republican Anya Tynio.

As of last week, there were almost 483,000 people registered to vote in Vermont, ahead of the 2016 presidential election year by about 18,000 people.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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