Outgoing Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will be replaced by his current Lieutenant Governor in January. Republican Phil Scott handily won the race for the state’s top office against his Democratic challenger.
Unofficial results from the VT Secretary of State’s office show with all but 1 of the 275 districts in the state reporting, Republican Phil Scott beat Democrat Sue Minter 52.19 percent to 43.62 percent. Liberty Union candidate Bill “Spaceman” Lee got 2.81 percent.
A critical area for the Democrat was Burlington and its suburbs. Both candidates waited until late in the evening when results from Chittenden County came in. Minter held back tears at the Burlington Hilton as she thanked her supporters and conceded the race. “It's been an amazing journey. It has been an extraordinary privilege and I am hugely grateful. I obviously want to start by congratulating Phil. I just got off the phone with him. We talked about how proud we were of the campaign that was run. The fact that here in Vermont we can still disagree without being disagreeable. And I appreciate and not just congratulate him I know that he is a person who already has served our state with distinction and will continue to do so.”
Minter has no regrets and said the loss does not end continued work to “build a brighter future for Vermont.” “Nothing ends with tonight. Every ending is a new beginning. I feel so much gratitude and appreciation and no regrets. Total pride. Onward.”
Minter spent a few minutes talking with individual supporters before leaving the room.
A few miles away at the GOP headquarters, Scott was thrilled to have won the gubernatorial race and immediately thanked his family. “As many of you might remember when we had this kick off almost a year ago my mother got more applause than I did.”
Shout from crowd: “Go Mom!”
Scott: “My dad passed away when I was 11 so my mom raised us alone but she always, always put us first and I always want to make her proud. And it means the world to me to have her share this moment with all of us. So thank you Mom.”
Scott reassured voters that he would work for all Vermonters. “To every Vermonter who put their faith in me your support means so much. Thank you. This is a really important time for our state and every single one of us has a role to play. Together we're going to make the economy and affordability Montpelier’s top priorities. We're going to make sure the state budget doesn't grow faster than our economy or our wages. We're going to invest in pro growth areas like early education and infrastructure.”
Governor-elect Scott says he knew if they brought his affordability agenda to voters they would win. “It's all about the economy for me and trying to find areas where we can find pro growth areas where we can work to try and grow revenue organically rather than forcing by taxation. And I believe that there's the path to doing so and the affordability crisis that we face is real. So we're going to have to live within our means while we're trying to grow the economy at the same time. So I look forward to working with that as a challenge and daunting but ah but I think if we work together get on the same page we’ll be able to do this.”
In other races U.S. Senator Democrat Patrick Leahy easily defeated Republican contender Scott Milne 60 to 32 percent to earn an eighth term.
The state’s sole congressman Peter Welch will return to Washington. The Democrat, who was endorsed by the Vermont Republican party, beat Liberty Union challenger Erica Clawson 83 to 9 percent.