Vermont 2020 | WAMC

Vermont 2020

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In Vermont and around the globe, the biggest story of 2020 was the COVID-19 pandemic.  But there were other events that will have lasting implications for state policy and residents.  It was a major election year for key statewide offices as candidates had to find ways to campaign in the midst of a pandemic that limited personal interactions.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

There will be a number of changes in the leadership of the Vermont Legislature if election results stand.

Molly Gray
Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

On Tuesday night, Vermont voters elected Molly Gray as the state’s next Lieutenant Governor.  The current assistant attorney general had never run for office but garnered a number of high-profile endorsements including from Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, former Governor and Ambassador Madeline Kunin and former Governor Peter Shumlin.  She defeated Republican businessman Scott Milne, who had twice run for office, and the outcome between the two was the closest among the state’s top races. On Wednesday morning Molly Gray told WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley following the election results was a rollercoaster but a very special night.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermonters continued a long tradition of electing a governor and lieutenant governor from opposite parties on Election Day. Bidding for a third term, Republican Governor Phil Scott soundly defeated his challenger, while a newcomer to politics will hold the second-highest state office.

Scott Milne (left) and Molly Gray are the major party candidates for Vermont Lieutenant Governor
Milne for Vermont - HopsonRoad/Stephen Flanders Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

Perhaps the closest and most contentious race in Vermont this year is for lieutenant governor.  The open position features a Republican who has mounted statewide campaigns before and a Democrat in her first run for office.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will run against each other in the 2020 gubernatorial race
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

During this general election, Vermont voters are deciding whether to re-elect the incumbent Republican governor or replace him. The Democratic challenger has faced an uphill battle as Vermont history tends to favor incumbents, and the governor’s popularity has been bolstered by his handling of the pandemic.

Miriam Berry
Miriam Berry for Congress / Facebook

Vermont has one representative in the U.S. House, and the seat is has been held by Democrat Peter Welch since 2007. In the state’s August primary, Republican Miriam Berry won a four-way race to advance to next month’s general election.
Berry grew up in a Democratic family and when she first started voting in her teens supported Democrats.  Berry tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley she soon found that her beliefs were more in line with conservative Republican values. Berry says she is undaunted as she challenges a popular long-time incumbent.

Scott Milne (left) and Molly Gray are the major party candidates for Vermont Lieutenant Governor
Milne for Vermont - HopsonRoad/Stephen Flanders Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

The closest race in Vermont’s general election is for Lieutenant Governor.  VPR/Vermont PBS hosted a debate Tuesday between Democrat Molly Gray and Republican Scott Milne during which the two major party candidates expressed distinct differences of opinion on what policies the state should implement.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will run against each other in the 2020 gubernatorial race
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

The major party candidates vying for Vermont governor met at the Mad River Barn in Waitsfield Tuesday evening for an in-person COVID-compliant debate.

a hand puts an envelope with a ballot into a collection box
wikipedia

A federal court judge has rejected a challenge to Vermont’s plan to mail ballots to all of the state’s active voters so they can cast ballots by mail or in person for the November election.

Absentee ballots from a ward's district stacked and ready to be processed
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont’s head of elections is advising registered voters in the state that they will soon receive ballots in the mail.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will run against each other in the 2020 gubernatorial race
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott told reporters Friday that now that the primary is over he is planning a more active general election campaign as he seeks a third term in November.

Scott Milne (left) and Molly Gray are the major party candidates for Vermont Lieutenant Governor
Milne for Vermont - HopsonRoad/Stephen Flanders Molly Gray for Vermont/Facebook

The general election for Vermont Lieutenant Governor this fall will feature two candidates who have never held public office. The Democrat is running her first campaign while the GOP candidate is making a comeback bid after nearly winning the 2014 race for governor.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left) and Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman will run against each other in the 2020 gubernatorial race
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Republican and Democratic candidates for Vermont governor are now set after Tuesday’s primary —  and the governor and lieutenant governor will go head-to-head in November.

Vote Buttons
WikiMedia Commons

Vermonters are going to the polls today to vote in statewide primary contests.  This year the number of people physically at polling places may be lower because a record number of mail-in and absentee ballots were requested.

Vote Buttons
WikiMedia Commons

In-person voting for Vermont’s statewide primary is Tuesday. The state’s top election official says there have been a record-breaking number of requests for mail in and absentee ballots.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos
photo provided

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos has issued the formal rules for voting in the 2020 November general election. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports the directive includes safety measures made in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The candidates for Vermont governor, with the exception of the incumbent, recently participated in a forum that focused on climate and social justice issues.

Scott Milne (file)
WAMC/Pat Bradley

A  Republican who ran unsuccessfully for Vermont governor in 2014 is running for lieutenant governor.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott  (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott has made it official: he is seeking a third two-year term.

Debbie Ingram
Debbie Ingram for Vermont State Senate

In Vermont, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately and this year both races already have a number of Democratic candidates.  When current Lieutenant Governor Progressive David Zuckerman announced he would run for governor, several Democrats began running for lieutenant governor.  Among them is second-term Democratic Vermont state Senator Debbie Ingram of Williston. She tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley her skills and the opportunities the office presents are a great match.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Now that Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman is officially running for governor, his decision is setting off a series of other political announcements.

David Zuckerman
David Zuckerman for Vermont/Facebook

Vermont’s election season is taking shape, and it could mean big changes in the Statehouse. There had been speculation for at least a week that Vermont Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman was planning to run for governor.  This morning, he was in Montpelier to formally announce his plans.  He tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that after 20 years of service, it’s time for him to take the next step.

John Klar
John Klar for Governor/Facebook

A Republican has entered the 2020 race for Vermont governor. The incumbent has not yet announced his plans, but if Governor Phil Scott decides to run for a third term, he could face a primary against Brookfield farmer John Klar.  As the former lawyer stood on the steps on the Statehouse this week to announce his candidacy, Klar said Vermont’s government has “grown like a bloated tick.” Klar tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley when Governor Scott signed the state’s new abortion law, he knew many Vermonters would no longer support Scott.