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Primary election winnows the field

    by Andrew Martin 

    Vermont is preparing for a change in state leadership — a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — and key decisions will be made Tuesday, Aug. 9, on who will be on the ballot on Nov. 8.
    Tuesday’s voting will eliminate two of the three major Democrats running for governor, and one of the two Republicans. 
    The same is true in the lieutenant governor’s race — two of the three major Democrats will be eliminated, and one of the two Republicans.
    • The race for governor has been vigorous. The three Democrats are Sue Minter of Waterbury Center, who’s been a state legislator and head of the state transportation agency; Peter Galbraith of Townshend, who’s been a U.S. diplomat and state senator; and Matt Dunne of Hartland, who’s been a state senator and a Google executive.
    On the Republican ballot for governor are the current lieutenant governor, Phil Scott of Berlin, who’s been a state senator and owns a construction business, and Bruce Lisman of Shelburne, a Vermont native who made a fortune on Wall Street.
    The current governor, Democrat Peter Shumlin, is finishing his third term and is not seeking re-election. He nearly lost to Republican Scott Milne two years ago.
    • Three strong Democratic candidates are also running for lieutenant governor — Kesha Ram of Burlington, who’s the youngest member of the Vermont House of Representatives (she turned 30 this week); Shap Smith of Morristown, who’s been speaker of the House for the past eight years; and David Zuckerman of Hinesburg, who’s a state senator, a farmer and a Progressive Party leader. If elected, Zuckerman would be the first farmer to be governor or lieutenant governor of Vermont in more than 50 years.
    Randy Brock of Swanton, a former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate, has no significant opposition for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.
    The current lieutenant governor, Phil Scott, is running for governor.
    Minor candidates are also on the ballot in each race.
    Tuesday’s primary sets up the November ballot, when Vermonters will cast ballots for president, U.S. Senate, Congress, 150 members of the Vermont House, 30 members of the state Senate, and a long list of other state offices.
    • Two Democrats are competing for the right to challenge Lamoille County’s only state senator, Republican Richard Westman of Cambridge, in November. Gerard “Jerry” Colby of Cambridge and George Gay of Stowe are running for the Democratic nomination; one will be eliminated Tuesday.
    • A vigorous race has developed for the two Vermont House seats representing Morristown, Elmore, Woodbury and Worcester. One of those seats has been held by House Speaker Shap Smith, who’s running for lieutenant governor.
    Five Democrats are competing for two spots on the November ballot: incumbent Avram Patt of Worcester, and four Morristown Democrats — Judy Bickford, Aimee Towne, David Yacovone and Marci Young. A sixth Democrat, Cheri Goldstein of Worcester, withdrew from the race, but too late to get her name off the primary election ballot.
    Gary Nolan of Morristown is the only Republican who filed for a House seat, but several people may run write-in campaigns for the other GOP ballot slot.
    Here’s a look at other offices on the primary ballot, in which none of the candidates faces significant opposition. Many minor candidates file regularly for state office, and sometimes for more than one race. For instance, Democrat Cris Ericson of Chester is running for both U.S. Senate and governor; Republican H. Brooke Paige of Washington is running for both governor and attorney general.
    • U.S. Senate: Patrick Leahy of Middlesex has represented Vermont in the Senate since 1975 and has played major roles in the appointment of federal judges and strengthening the federal Freedom of Information Act, among other issues.
    Republican Scott Milne of Pomfret, who came close to beating Shumlin in the governor’s race two years ago, is unopposed in the GOP primary.
    • Congress: Democrat Peter Welch of Norwich is running for his sixth two-year term; no other candidates in either party filed for the race.
    • Attorney general: William Sorrell, attorney general since 1997, did not seek re-election. TJ Donovan of South Burlington, the Chittenden County attorney, mounted a significant challenge against Sorrell in the Democratic primary four years ago; he has no significant opposition in the primary. Deborah Bucknam of Walden is the only Republican candidate.
    • Incumbent Beth Pearce of Barre, the treasurer since 2011, faces only token opposition from health care analyst Richard Dunne of Burlington in the Democratic primary. No Republicans filed.
    • Secretary of state: Jim Condos, a Democrat from Montpelier, is unopposed for his fourth term. 
    • Auditor of accounts: Incumbent Doug Hoffer of Burlington, a Democrat, and Republican Dan Feliciano of Essex are unopposed in the primary.
    • Stowe representative: State Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, a Republican, is unopposed in the primary, and no Democrats filed for the seat that Scheuermann has held since 2006.
    • Both legislators in the two-member district covering Belvidere, Hyde Park, Johnson and Wolcott have decided not to run for re-election. The decision by Democrats Linda Martin of Wolcott and Mark Woodward of Johnson leaves the door wide open for new political hopefuls.
    On the ballot are two Republicans, Riki French of Hyde Park and Lucien Gravel of Wolcott, and two Democrats, Matthew Hill and Daniel Noyes, both of Wolcott. All four will appear on the November ballot.
    • Cambridge and Waterville: Republican Bernie Juskiewicz is unopposed for re-election.
    • Eden, Jay, Lowell, Westfield, Troy: Incumbent Republican Mark Higley of Lowell and Democrat Katherine Sims of Lowell are unopposed in the primary. The race is a rerun from 2012, when Sims ran as a Progressive and narrowly lost to Higley.


This Week's Photos


ON THE ROAD AGAIN
PHOTO BY ANDREW MARTIN

Morrisville’s downtown gateway is back up and running. The section of Bridge Street 
between the bypass and the intersection with Brooklyn Street is open to traffic again 
after two months of work. The street was shut down beginning in late May for waterline 
work and repaving




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Lamoille in the News

  • Primary election winnows the field     by Andrew Martin     Vermont is preparing for a change in state leadership — a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — and key decisions will be made Tuesday, Aug. 9, on ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2016, 9:48 AM by News & Citizen
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