Vermont voters choose Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State candidates for November general election
Vermont voters on Tuesday chose numerous candidates who will continue their statewide campaigns to the November general election.
The Democratic primary for Vermont Lieutenant Governor included newcomer Patricia Preston, former state representative Kitty Toll, current state representative Charlie Kimbell and former lieutenant governor David Zuckerman. Unofficial results show Zuckerman winning the primary with nearly 42 percent, while Toll garnered 37 percent of the vote. Preston and Kimbell trail with each receiving less than 10 percent. Zuckerman, who gets a chance to regain the seat he held from 2017 to January 2021, spoke to supporters in Burlington after the results came in.
“Let’s remember what this is all about. Vermonters are hurting. We’re doing it for the folks that don’t have a voice in the system," Zuckerman told supporters. "And we’ve got three more months for this race. Let’s take this energy and let’s use that energy to win in November and then go down to Montpelier in January and even if we have a governor that is in the way we can ride right over that hump.”
The Republican primary for Lieutenant Governor pitted Lyndonvillle state Senator Joe Benning against businessman and former Rutland GOP chair Gregory Thayer. Benning, who has been in the Senate for 12 years and is a former minority leader, beat Thayer 48 percent to 40 percent. On Wednesday, Benning turned his focus to Zuckerman.
“I will give to David a slight edge because he has actually held the gavel. David hasn’t been there for two years. We have been through COVID. So I believe I have a slight edge on him in knowing how things have been going for us all." Benning continues, "But most importantly, where you step into the governor’s shoes should something happen to the governor, Phil Scott has personally endorsed me. I have worked with his team. David has definitely not and in fact has often worked against that team. So I believe I have a clear edge.”
The Vermont Secretary of State’s position has no incumbent because Democrat Jim Condos announced he would retire at the end of his term after serving a dozen years. Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters was the first to enter the race followed by Montpelier city clerk John Odum. Both lost the Democratic primary to Bradford House Representative and Government Operations Committee chair Sarah Copeland Hanzas, who won nearly 36 percent to Winters’ 34 percent and Odum’s 13.6 percent.
“I think it was really about the fact that each of us brought a different set of skills and a different set of experiences to the race," said Copeland Hanzas. "I want to put some extra attention and focus on really strengthening democracy. And so I want the Secretary of State’s office to help do more to educate voters. Now that we have adopted universal vote by mail we should follow what other states do and create a voter guide so that folks can use that 45 day window when they have their ballot to research the candidates.”
H. Brooke Paige is the only Republican and Robert Millar is the sole Progressive running for Secretary of State.
In the race for Vermont Attorney General, Democrat Charity Clark outpaced primary opponent Rory Thibault 58 to 28 percent. Paige is also on the ballot for that seat, again the only Republican. Progressive Elijah Bergman is also running for AG. Democratic Attorney General TJ Donovan decided not to seek reelection this year and left the post in June.