Amid steady turnout, governor’s race tight, Huntley holds slight lead against Lindberg

By Cynthia Prairie
@The Chester Telegraph – 2014

In what appears to be a tighter than expected race, incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin will retain his seat for another two years despite a strong showing from Republican Scott Milne. Statewide, and with 231 of 275 precincts reporting by 3 a.m., Shumlin was ahead 84,015 to 82,030 in what has appeared to be a solid voter turnout for a mid-term election. If final totals continue to put Shumlin at less than 50 percent, the election will be decided in the state legislature.

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, solidly retained his seat, indicating that Vermont voters were comfortable with a split leadership. Dean Corren, the Democrat, received 64,343 votes compared to Scott’s 112,260. State Treasurer Beth Pearce and Secretary of State Jim Condos, both Democrats, handily kept their seats, each with 70+ percent of the votes. And Attorney General William Sorrell, also a Democrat, bested Republican Shane McCormack with 59 percent of the vote compared to 37 percent. Auditor of Accounts Doug Hoffer was unchallenged.

Huntley turns back Lindberg

In Southern Windsor County, there was only one real State House race — Independent Stuart Lindberg challenged Democrat incumbent Rep. Mark Huntley in Windsor 2. With one of two precincts reporting, Huntley was ahead by 13 votes, 641 to 638.

Otherwise, there were no real State House races, giving the incumbents a default win. That is true for the three incumbent Democratic state senators — John Campbell of Hartford, Dick McCormack of Bethel and Alice Nitka of Ludlow — as well as state Rep. Leigh Dakin of Chester.

With all four of her precincts reporting, Dakin received 948 votes against 41 write-ins.

Bake sale

HEADING FOR D.C.: Green Mountain Middle School students Lindsey Sturtevant, center, and Madison Wilson, right, took the first shift selling baked goods and soup to raise money for a trip to the nation’s capital in April, 2015. The students will return to selling for the vote on Nov. 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. Photo by Shawn Cunningham. Click to enlarge

Here’s a breakdown of  how local voters voted in the Shumlin/Milne race by districts. Information comes from the   website of the Vermont Secretary of State.

Chester: Shumlin 467, Milne 355.

Cavendish: Shumlin 202, Milne 203.

Grafton: Shumlin 119, Milne 101.

Londonderry: Shumlin 212, Milne 220.

Ludlow: Shumlin 285, Milne 350.

Mt Holly: Shumlin 223 285, Milne 245 24.

Peru: Shumlin 75, Milne 65.

Springfield: Shumlin 967, Milne 981.

Weathersfield: Shumlin 380, Milne 424.

As of 9 a.m. today, the Secretary of State’s website continues to say it last updated results as of 3 a.m. As of that time, there were no results for Weston.

Chester’s local perennial candidate Cris Ericson, known for her flamboyant headwear and colorful pronouncements, was among the gubernatorial hopefuls, running as an Independent, as were Bernard Peters of Irasburg and Emily Peyton of Putney. Dan Feliciano of Essex was the Libertarian candidate, Peter Diamondstone of Brattleboro was the Liberty Union candidate.

Turnout called ‘pretty good’

According to Chester Town Clerk Deb Aldrich, 790 Chester voters came to Town Hall to vote while 109 absentee ballots were cast. By comparison, 1,304 voters came to the polls and 454 cast absentee ballots in 2012.  In the last midterm election in 2010, 1,003 voted in person and 216 by mail. On Wednesday morning, Aldrich called the results “pretty good for an off-year,” noting that 899 total votes represents about 40 percent of the voter checklist.  “The governor’s race was close,” said Aldrich. “I don’t know if that’s what brought people out, but it was pretty steady all day.”

In a six-way race for Congress, incumbent Democrat Peter Welch cruised to a 63.13 per cent victory statewide, but it was a bit closer in Chester where Republican Mark Donka received 293 votes (32.92 percent) to Welch’s 533 (59.89 percent) Three other candidates — Matthew Andrews of the Liberty Union Party,  Jerry Trudell, an Energy Party candidate from Charlestown and Independent Randall Meyer of Marshfield  — shared 15 votes, while Chester resident Cris Ericson picked up 46 votes. In fact, Ericson did much better in her race for Congress, where she  garnered 3,447 votes statewide. In her race for governor, she received only 990 votes statewide.

Chester voters backed the winners in the other contested races, casting 511 votes to re-elect Lt. Gov. Phil Scott over Dean Corren, who took 334 votes. Treasurer Beth Pearce received 560 votes (73.3 percent) and Secretary of State Jim Condos  and 540 votes (70.96 percent). And Attorney General William Sorrell collected 499 votes (57.82 percent) in Chester on his way to statewide victory.

High bailiff for Windsor

In the race for high bailiff for Windsor County, Democrat Michael Manley of Hartford beat Republican Raymond Herb of West Windsor with 60 percent to 40 percent. (9,078 to 6,148).  The high bailiff carries out the duties of a sheriff if there is no sheriff or if the sheriff cannot carry out his duties.

There were 12 candidates for 12 posts as Justice of the Peace: Kenneth Barrett, Patricia Benelli, Patricia Budnick, Heather Chase, Robert Crawford, Ruthie Douglas, Tom Elgan, Molly Ferris, Susan Kibbe, Cheryl LeClair, Bruce Parks and Colleen Truax.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Many thanks for catching the formatting error. We have fixed the Mt Holly numbers and will check the rest.

  2. Debbie says:

    The Mount Holly numbers are incorrect.