Republican voters in Colchester strongly favored incumbent Gov. Phil Scott in Tuesday’s primary to help him earn the party’s nomination for governor.
Scott earned the most votes of any gubernatorial candidate across Colchester’s two districts – Chittenden 9-1 and 9-2 – with a total of 667, while gun-rights supporter Keith Stern trailed in a distant second with 199. Scott handily secured the statewide endorsement by earning more than 60 percent of the vote, unofficial results show.
Christine Hallquist, who earned the Democratic nod and became the first transgender candidate to earn a major party’s nomination for governor, led Democrats in Colchester with 501 votes. James Ehlers placed second with 317, followed by Brenda Siegel’s 183 and 14-year-old Ethan Sonneborn’s 84.
Tuesday’s primary was a trial run for House candidates in District 9-1: All now move onto the general election in November. Incumbent Democrat Curt Taylor led the way with 415 votes followed by Democrat Seth Chase’s 306. Republicans Clark Sweeney and Deserae Morin finished with 161 and 142 votes, respectively.
The race for District 9-2 proved more exciting, thanks to planning commission chairwoman Pam Loranger, who launched a robust write-in campaign looking to fill one of the two Republican slots on November’s ballot. But it appears she came up just short.
It’s hard to know exactly how Loranger fared because results provided by Colchester’s town clerk don’t include names of the 165 write-in ballots cast Tuesday. But even if every single write-in spelled out Loranger, it appears she’d still be nine votes short of John L. Nagle III, who finished with 174.
Incumbent Patrick Brennan, meanwhile, handily moved on to the next round with 476 votes.
On the Democratic side, Sarita Austin and Herb Downing advanced with 529 and 497 votes, respectively.
Democratic voters could choose six of nine candidates in the Chittenden County senate race. They went with the incumbents – Tim Ashe, Ginny Lyons, Debbie Ingram, Michael Sirotkin, Phil Baruth and Christopher Pearson – who campaigned as a unit.
In federal races, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders easily earned the Democratic nomination, with voters here giving him 89 percent of the vote – two points below the state average. (Per usual, he will turn it down to run as an Independent.)
Sanders will face H. Brooke Paige, who eked out a tight race with Lawrence Zupan for the Republican nomination. Paige, a perennial candidate who this year ran for all the statewide and federal offices except posts with “governor” in the title, also won the nomination for Vermont’s lone seat in the U.S. House. He’s up against incumbent Congressman Peter Welch, who handily defeated challenger Dan Freilich for the Democratic nod.
Out of the 10,573 registered voters across Colchester’s two districts, the 2,337 ballots cast Tuesday represent an 18 percent turnout.
Primaries in Vermont only allow voters to cast a ballot in one of the state’s three main parties. Results in Colchester show Democratic ballots outpaced Republican 1,334 to 894.
Voters hit the polls again for the general election November 6.