Two-time incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott handily won reelection Tuesday night, defeating Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman by a 67%-26% margin.
In a speech recorded from a garage, Scott hinted that his shutdowns, mask and social distancing orders will continue for the foreseeable future.
“As I’ve said many times, we cannot let our guard down,” he said. “As we enter the winter months we must remain vigilant.”
He also said that “hate, fear and division,” are dividing the nation.
Elsewhere in the state, Democrat Molly Gray defeated Republican Scott Milne for lieutenant governor by winning 49.5% of the vote. Milne came in second with 42.4%. That means Gray will now take Zuckerman’s place as the head of the state Senate.
Milne sent out a comment before the end of the evening: “I am honored by the tens of thousands of Vermonters who supported my candidacy. I send my sincere congratulations to Molly Gray on her victory this evening. I wish her success moving forward.”
Democrats and Progressives continue to hold all six state Senate seats for Chittenden County, but there are still two newcomers, including former state Rep. Kesha Ram and UVM senior lecturer Thomas Chittenden — both Democrats.
Some big headlines from the House races include incumbent Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, lost her Bennington-4 seat while running as an independent. The top vote getters in the district were Seth Bongartz and Kathleen James — both Democrats. Browning has been a fiscal conservative on some issues and had been known to break ranks from her party on numerous votes.
In the Grand Isle-Chittenden district, incumbent Democrat House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Democrat Andy Julow lost to Republicans Michael and Leland Morgan. Leland Morgan won 2,768 votes, Michael Morgan came in second with 2,619 votes, and Johnson came in a close third with 2,601 votes.
Another incumbent, Rep. Bob Bancroft, R-Westford, lost the Chittenden 8-3 House district race to Democrat challenger Alyssa Black. Black won by a 47%-36% margin.
In the Lamoille 1 district, Republican incumbent Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe, defeated Democratic challenger Jo Sabel Courtney by a 55%-40% margin.
Democrats Gabrielle Stebbins and Tiff Bluemle are two new House members representing South Burlington’s Chittenden 6-5 district. The top vote-getters edged out To Licata, and independent.
Some new Progressive/Democrats to win House seats were Taylor Small, who will represent the Chittenden 6-7 district, and Tanya Vyhovsky, who won the second seat in the Chittenden 8-1 district.
Scott won Vermont for the third time despite overseeing the state’s worst economic downturn in decades due to his mandated shutdowns related to combating the coronavirus. As of this month, 58 Vermonters have died in part due to the virus.
A handful of commentators noted the “spit-the-ticket” trend in Vermont, with just about a third of Vermonters voting for President Trump but more than two-thirds voting for Scott.
Vermont Republican @GovPhilScott shows his magic, winning 3rd term in overwhelming fashion tonight. #Vt voters clearly liked his steady leadership in pandemic, again splitting their ticket; Biden won 2-1. Won't take long for speculation about Scott in 2022.#vtpoli pic.twitter.com/YrkqTwJJVv
— Stewart Ledbetter (@StewartMyNBC5) November 4, 2020
A poll by Lake Research Partners in September showed that Vermonter voters, in general, are still overall favorable to Democrats by 58% to 43%.