Colchester picks Clinton, Scott

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Trump supporters show off their signs outside the polls, held at Colchester High School on Tuesday. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)

Trump supporters show off their signs outside the polls, held at Colchester High School on Tuesday. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)


Colchester voters crossed party lines on Tuesday, picking a Democrat for the White House and sending a Republican to Montpelier.

Locals chose Republican Phil Scott, the current lieutenant governor, over Democrat Sue Minter, former Vermont Secretary of Transportation. Scott earned 4,478 votes, while Minter got 3,184. She conceded to Scott late Tuesday evening.

Colchester split from the state in the lieutenant governor race, favoring Republican Randy Brock over Progressive/Democrat Sen. David Zuckerman by just 20 votes. Colchester voters gave Brock 3,758 votes and Zuckerman 3,738.

The town’s voters handed a decisive victory to Clinton, with 4,456 votes to Donald Trump’s 2,425. Together, third-party candidates earned less than 400 votes.

In Chittenden District 9-1, voters elected two Democrats: Jim Condon (1,822 votes) and Curt Taylor (1,441 votes). Joey Purvis, a Republican incumbent, fell to third place with 1,414 votes – 27 votes behind Taylor – losing his seat.

Republican candidate Pat Liebrecht came in a distant fourth with 657 votes. News that he was charged in a “revenge porn” lawsuit broke late last week.

In Chittenden District 9-2, unopposed candidates Pat Brennan and Maureen P. Dakin secured easy wins, netting 2,785 and 2,540 votes respectively.

Incumbent state Sen. Dick Mazza was also unopposed and received 6,880 votes.

On the national stage, Colchester voted for Sen. Patrick Leahy with 4,927 votes over challenger Scott Milne with 2,556 votes. Rep. Peter Welch earned 2,219 votes to Liberty Union Party member Erica Clawson’s 639.

Colchester fell in line with the rest of Vermont in other statewide races, picking Democrat T.J. Donovan (5,528 votes) over Republican Deborah Bucknam (1,799) for attorney general.

Colchester resident Daniel L. Gamelin won high bailiff, unopposed, with 6,254 votes.

For auditor, voters favored Democrat incumbent Doug Hoffer (3,825 votes) over Essex Republican Dan Feliciano (3,053 votes).

Secretary of State was handed to Democratic Jim Condos with 6,660 votes over Liberty Union’s Mary Alice Herbert, with 454 votes.

Colchester voted to send Beth Pearce back to the treasurer’s office with 5,789 votes.

Local voters were also asked to choose no more than 15 candidates for justice of the peace.

Top vote getters were Kathryn Anger (3,221), Pet Brennan (2,988), Joey Purvis (2,827), Curt Taylor (2,820), Maureen P. Dakin (2,754), Kristy Spengler (2,470), Carolyn Barnes (2,435), Mary Brennan (2,435), Bob Bouchard (2,272), Andrew Bahrenburg (2,247), Charlotte Gardner (2,224), Marie Reine Pepin (2,117), Jeff Spengler (2,113), Wendy Simpers (2,109) and Angela Macdonald (2,102).

Voters approved all three bond projects for the Champlain Water District. CWD’s director told The Colchester Sun last week the new debt will be rate-neutral since old bonds are retiring.

Progressive/Democrat lieutenant governor candidate David Zuckerman (second from right) talks with voters outside Colchester High School on Tuesday. Zuckerman defeated Republican challenger Randy Brock in the statewide election. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)

Progressive/Democrat lieutenant governor candidate David Zuckerman (second from right) talks with voters outside Colchester High School on Tuesday. Zuckerman defeated Republican challenger Randy Brock in the statewide election. (Photo by Michaela Halnon)

Colchester voters were greeted by a long stretch of campaign signs as they drove down Laker Lane, but it was a truck full of Trump supporters parked in the lot that garnered the most attention.

Situated in the bed of a pickup, a half-dozen Colchester High School students waved campaign signs to passing cars. The crew said nearly every other car offered a thumbs up, wave or honk.

Some of them had already cast a vote for Trump inside. Others were not yet old enough to vote but said they chose the Republican in their school’s mock election the previous day.

The group of students also included CHS senior Jace Laquerre, a Republican candidate for justice of the peace. A total of 1,526 voters checked off Laquerre’s name, putting him 24th in a field of 30.

Caroline Ramsdell saw the Trump troupe when she voted early Tuesday morning. A Clinton supporter, she remained troubled as she drove back home.

Ramsdell decided to take action and created her own Clinton campaign signs: ‘Hillary for President’ written in black marker on white poster board. She drove back to the high school and stood no less than 50 feet from the Trump camp.

Ramsdell planned to stay outside, she said, until she needed a bathroom break.

Another group of students caught voters’ eyes as they entered the polls. CHS seniors Chloe Bullock and Sawyer Loftus are two of the 15 local students who will attend the presidential inauguration address in Washington D.C. come January.

They offered folks a cup of hot apple cider in exchange for a donation to their trip fund.

The decorated table caught the attention of lieutenant governor hopeful David Zuckerman. He stopped and chatted for a few moments before hopping in his Subaru and moving on to the next town.

The students assured him the trip would be on, no matter who delivered the inauguration address.