Vermont Primary Election Results Are In (Mostly)
Vermonts primary election for the 2022 midterm elections took place last Tuesday, August 9th and the results are in (mostly). This is the first time back to the statewide polls since COVID-19 struck during the 2020 elections. Vermonters took advantage of both mail in ballots for those concerned about COVID-19 or chose to vote early and many came back to in person voting. Most of the races had been called by the end of the day on Tuesday and some remain undecided due to possible recounts and an error with the states website that did not display county Senate races. Although registered voters grew from approximately 490,000 to 500,000 the overall votes cast had decreased close to 20% less primary votes counted statewide.
It was no surprise that Congressman Peter Welch prevailed in the primary to replace sitting Senator Patrick Leahy who is retiring this year. Welch is a long-time champion for Vermont and has served the state well in Congress and the voters obviously believe he will do the same proved by their votes in a whopping margin over his competition. Welch will square off with challenger Gerald Malloy who is running on the Republican ticket. But for Malloys yard signs with the slogan "Deploy Malloy" AGC/VT does not know much about the candidate. He beat Christina Nolin former US Attorney in Vermont who made a name for herself across the state working as hard or harder than most candidates we have seen. Its widely believed Welch will ultimately be our next US Senator and we will see how it plays out over the coming weeks.
The campaign that probably gathered the most attention statewide was the replacement for Welchs seat in Congress. The Democratic primary was won by Vermont Senate Pro Tem, Becca Balint by more than 20 percentage points which was in line with some polling. Molly was recently quoted prior to the election that the difference was clear that Balint would become "one of the squad" or another Bernie Sanders and that Molly would largely reflect policies and principles held by Welch and Leahy. The voters decided and Balint will likely beat out the Republican candidate (maybe Republican) Liam Madden who had claimed he would refuse the nomination from the party to run as an independent as a way to stop a Republican contender. He has since walked back the comment and said he would accept the Republican nomination although it won't likely help him win.
Another closely watched races was the Chittenden County States Attorney race between incumbent Sarah George and Democratic Primary challenger Ted Kenney. According to Kenney the race was a decision the residents of Chittenden County would have to make for either law and order which he claimed to represent against a more progressive activist view of criminal justice that has caused harm and increased violent crimes in the county. Despite the fact gun violence has increased exponentially in Burlington including suspects that had been either released without bail or without prosecution which was an easy fact for Kenney to point out; George ultimately won signaling the counties satisfaction with the status quo.
Senator Joe Benning beat out challenger Gregory Thayer for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Benning will face off against David Zuckerman (former Lieutenant Governor) who beat Kitty Toll a former House Representative by a slim margin. This will be a good race to watch between two who have served in Vermonts Senate for a very long time together.
House and Senate races came in very much in line with what we had predicted here are AGC/VT. There are a few close races that are being decided and we are still awaiting announcement from the Secretary of State regarding official Senate results. If you have any questions or would like to participate with AGC/VTs lobbying team for the general election please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.