Grand Isle recount confirms Morgans’ victory over House Speaker Johnson

By Guy Page

A recount held in North Hero Friday confirmed the election of Republicans Leland and Michael Morgan to the two seats in the Grand Isle — West Milton House districts.

The recount was requested by Rep. and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, who trailed by 20 votes in the Election Night tally. Friday, 12 court-appointed vote counters — six Democrats, six Republicans — recounted all the votes by hand. Rep. Johnson lost one vote in the recount, leaving her 21 behind in the final tally.

Wikimedia Commons/Orca Media

Rep. Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero

Johnson conceded before a second recount required by the Town Clerk because the recount showed a one vote difference with the voting machine tally, according to one participant. But the second recount went forward regardless. “The initial recounts resulted in Mike actually picking up an additional …votes over Johnson, but Grand Isle’s tabulator total of ballots did not match the hand count so it is being recounted again. Shouldn’t make a difference. Johnson even conceded but that clerk insisted to recount because the number was off.”

Johnson, an 18-year House veteran, is among the six Democratic or Progressive House members highly ranked by Planned Parenthood whose seats were “flipped” by voters in favor of Republicans Nov. 3. The same six House members also supported the Global Warming Solutions Act.

They are: Johnson and Reps. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P-Middletown Springs), Dave Potter (D-Rutland-2), Carl Demrow (D-Orange-Caledonia), Charen Fegard (D-Berkshire) and Chip Conquest (D-Newbury). All but Conquest, who did not seek re-election, lost to Republicans in the Nov. 4 general election.

As a consequence, the Democratic/Progressive majority has lots its ability to override a gubernatorial veto without help from at least one independent. Legislative redistricting is just one of the likely highly partisan, important issues in the upcoming session for which the veto override will not be guaranteed.

Newly-elected Rep. Michael Morgan — nephew to incumbent Leland Morgan — echoed the concern about the Global Warming Solutions Act when asked Friday by WPTZ to explain why he won this year after losing by 150 votes in 2018. “Some of the things they felt were very radical agendas coming from Montpelier, a loss of balance there,” Morgan said. “Things (had become) too extreme in one direction there politically.”

Johnson accepted the voters’ decision gracefully. “If that means I lose my election because more people have come out to vote, I am very happy to graciously accept that and make sure the will of the people is done in Vermont,” Johnson told WPTZ.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Orca Media

30 thoughts on “Grand Isle recount confirms Morgans’ victory over House Speaker Johnson

  1. Having served Grand Isle County in the House for 10 years before retiring my seat I can only say that this defeat has been coming since the 2014 elections.

    While Mitzi Johnson was able to count votes in the House, she apparently forgot how to count votes in her two-member district.

    In 2014 Bob Krebs (D) became the top vote getter in the Islands. That year Johnson came in second besting Jason Moquin (R) who had never run before by only 31 votes. In 2016, Ben Joseph (D) running for the first time was the top vote getter beating Johnson by 120 votes. Moquin (R), ran again and lost by just 103 votes. In 2018 Johnson beat Republican Leland Morgan by only 16 votes. Leland Morgan was elected to the House as second vote getter. Michael Morgan (R), lost to Johnson that year by just 148 votes and Ben Joseph (D) came in last.It was clear that over that past six years, Mitzi Johnson was not wildly popular in her district. If it was not for her home town of So. Hero she would have lost her seat years ago.

    With Johnson’s rise to power, she became more and more imbedded with liberal special interest groups and less concerned about listening and working for the people that put her in her seat. He political policies became more and more liberal and her presence in her district less and less visible. Many of her constituents who took issue with legislation contacted her but received no response. On person I know called her 10 times and received no response. I heard this more and more every time I went to the post office or local store or restaurant.

    All of this combined with the fact that the Morgan’s really wanted the opportunity to serve their district in the Vermont House and worked their tails off to make it happen, was the end of Johnson’s seat.
    If Vermont Progressives and Democrats continue their all out push to satisfy their liberal special interest groups agendas, they may find themselves losing more seats in the next election. One party rule in the legislature may prove fatal for the ruling party if they continue to ignore the rest of the voting public. I think Vermont voters becoming weary of being the guinea pigs for the nation and footing the bill that goes with it. GWSA in point.

    • John,
      Thank you for your summary of events.

      More persons should write such summaries to show the Bernie-style SOCIALISTS in Montpelier their end is near.

      SOCIALISM HAS FAILED WHERE EVER IT WAS TRIED OR IMPOSED, such as in China, USSR, Cuba, Venezuela, East Europe, etc.

      GWSA is the most sordid piece of legislation ever.

      GWSA has nothing to do with local control and DEMOCRACY, and everything with even more SOCIALISTIC, CENTRALIZED COMMAND/CONTROL of over-taxed, over-regulated Vermonters, this time under the shibboleth to “fight global warming”, i.e., tilting at wind mills.

      Don”t these idiots know, Vermont is just a flea on an elephant’s rear?

      Republicans should speak with one voice, hammer away at issues until more people get it, so the election in 2022 will see at least 10 to 15 additional GOP House members and 5 more GOP Senators.


  2. And we can’t forget Rep. Cynthia Browning had a hand in this. Cynthia has been a welcome surprise since she and I ran against each other for Bennington District State Senate back in 2004 when I won my second term. We seemed from different spectrum in that race, and we certainly have different perspectives, but once she won her house race and served we have both discovered we also share much in common. Just goes to show how the heat of political races divides people who if we just could sit down and have a conversation we would find so much in common that we could build from.

    Campaigning were I had the opportunity to talk directly with individually or with groups, even from the far left, was truly enjoyable because in those real conversations we always could find some common ground. I never had a bad experience talking directly with voters. Not once.

  3. That is definitely some of the best news in Vermont in a long time. Congratulations to Lelands and everyone that helped raise the bar on important issues … including as Guy wrote in another piece John Klar’s primary effort. Competition in the arena of ideas always helps raise awareness.

  4. Without doubt, there is a shift in Vermont’s political sentiments. For me, at least, hope springs eternal. Apparently, conservative common sense still lives.

  5. Six House members, now voted out by OVER-TAXED, HARD-WORKING Vermonters, had supported the Global Warming Solutions Act.

    They are: Johnson and Reps. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P-Middletown Springs), Dave Potter (D-Rutland-2), Carl Demrow (D-Orange-Caledonia), Charen Fegard (D-Berkshire) and Chip Conquest (D-Newbury).

    Good riddance to them all.



    California: California has had a GWSA law since 2006, which resulted in:

    – Rapid increases of electric rates and gasoline prices
    – Huge DUCK-curves, due to midday solar electricity surges
    – Unwise/untimely/political/ideological shutdown of gas plants, which resulted in rolling blackouts, when, during a multi-day heat wave, solar disappearing in late-afternoon/early-evening (DURING PEAK HOURS), and not reappearing until mid-morning THE NEXT DAY, while all that time wind was minimal.
    – A host of rules, regulations, taxes, fees and surcharges, and penalties to enforce behavior modification programs

    With high levels of weather-dependent wind and solar, huge storage (multiple TWh) would be required.
    That storage would cost several trillion dollars, if materials could be found to build such capacity. It would need to cover:

    1) Single and multi-day heat waves over large areas
    2) Wind/solar lulls throughout the year, as frequently occur in New England
    3) Short-term and seasonal variations.

    The ADDITIONAL environmental impact on millions of acres with wind and solar systems, would be enormous all over the US.

    It would be much better to build millions of PASSIVHAUS-style buildings all over the US.
    They would need only 1/3 the energy of the current energy hogs.

    Vermont: For Vermont, the only thing that makes any sense is to stop “emulating” California.
    Vermont should immediately scrap GWSA, and concentrate on:

    1) Energy conservation
    2) Energy efficiency
    3) Building net-zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses and other buildings, by the thousands, each year. See Appendix
    4) Provide incentives to buy vehicles that get more than 35 mpg, EPA combined; the more above the limit, the greater the incentive.
    5) Charge annual fees, paid at time of registration, on existing and new vehicles that get less than 25 mpg, EPA combined; the more below the limit, the greater the fee.

    The above 4 items would save money for Vermonters, and make the state economy more competitive
    Most of the other energy measures are just expensively subsidized hogwash and behavior modifications that would not make one iota of difference regarding climate change.

  6. The beauty of our system of government is that no matter how high or powerful your position, voters have ability, through the election process, to turn a leader out of power. Our system also provides the opportunity to check, through recounts and court challenges, the sanctity of the voting process. It is something in this time of Thanksgiving to be very grateful and appreciative of all who have sacrificed to ensure its survival.

    Congratulations to Leland and Michael Morgan . This was a much needed change and their hard work to get these results is appreciated. Will it result in a little more humility among Democrats and Progressives in Montpelier and a willingness to work for the good of the people of Vermont rather than pushing an ideological agenda? Doubtful, but the upcoming extremely challenging session should be a good test.

    • John,
      The “beauty” of our system…?

      Your so-called “beauty”, with its Dem/Prog-inspired mail-in voting, has created MUCHO shenanigans all over the US.
      Now it is laughed at all over the world, even in Venezuela, and Russia, and Belarus.

      According to videos, it was shown, by Princeton university professors and students, the more recent voting machines can easily have their software changed, within a few minutes, to have them count as desired, especially in swing states.

      Now back to the registered voter lists, which have been grossly ignored, but turned out to be a MAJOR part of the A-to-Z PROCESS.

      It is well known to Town Clerks:

      The registered voter lists are not up-to-date, because people died, moved away, etc.; even dead people registered AND voted in Pennsylvania.

      Many names on the lists do not have the required voter identification, such as:

      Birth certificate, or citizen papers,
      Proof of residence,
      Up-to-date photo ID
      FULL NAME signature

      Those flawed “registered” voters likely voted in Vermont and elsewhere
      Even dead people registered AND voted in Pennsylvania, and likely elsewhere.
      Their ballots were counted as legal, whereas, in fact, they should have been rejected.

      If the TSA operated that way regarding airline safety, we would have frequent 9/11s events.

      In Vermont, with its “BEAUTY” process:

      Lists being flawed was PROVEN by Vermont sending ballots to ALL registered voters, many of whom responded, “my relative died ten years ago, we moved out of state ten years ago, he does not live at this address anymore, etc.”

      It is possible to collect the names of the responses, and fill-in “held-in-reserve” ballots for favored candidates, as recently happened in various states, a form of harvesting.

      Registered voters have complained, they were marked as having voted, but NEVER requested a ballot!!

      It is possible for mailed-in ballots to arrive at a nursing home, and for the staff to fill them out, as they see fit, have the old people sign them, and then hand them to whomever, such as VPIRG, for forwarding to the Town Clerks.

      My mother, over 90 at the time, in a nursing home, had her ballot filled, without my knowledge.
      She could barely SEE her ballot.
      It was “expertly” marked it with an unrecognizable scribble.
      Ah, yes, the joys of getting old.

      It is possible for US postal workers to back-date mail-in ballots, or to throw them in a dumpster, or whatever, as was proven with video surveillance cameras.

      It is also possible for people to fill out spare mail-in ballots for there favored candidates, bring them to the ballot-counting building at 2 AM, and have them counted, as was proven by poll-watcher videos, and the on-video accounts of ballot-counting workers.

      Remember, these ballot-counting workers likely were happy to have a temporary job.
      Almost all of them would be reluctant to be whistleblowers lest they be ostracized.
      It would be easy to intimidate them.

      • John,

        It would be great, if CONDOS would have a change of mind regarding the Dem/Prog-inspired UNIVERSAL mail-in voting.

        He now knows all the problems it created all over the country, especially in swing states.

        He could say: “I was FOR Mail-in, until I was AGAINST it”.

        There would be no shame.
        It would be part of maturing/growing up/becoming wiser
        Almost everyone would admire him for it.

        All absentee ballots should be requested, only by properly registered voters, in writing, on a signed, dated state affidavit.
        Those affidavits should be tabulated for future use, in case of recounts.

        There should never be an event, such as: “Registered voters have complained, they were marked as having voted (likely by an eager-beaver/corupt poll worker), but NEVER requested a ballot!!

        • Mr. Post,
          I agree and have advocated for absentee ballots to be limited to only those
          who request them. Absent of that I have argued that all votes should be consistent and if we are going to send ballots to all voters in general elections we should do it for warnings including budget and town meeting votes if these annual meetings can not be held in person. To date this position has not been successful.
          I suspect that consistency will not be the case here as it was not in many school votes that took place after the shutdown this spring and summer. We debase our election system when we try to make it work in ways that skews the results to what we, not the voters want.

          • We debase our “election system…”?

            We debase DEMOCRACY AND LOCAL CONTROL, a founding principal of the US Constitution and of America, my adopted country.

            I served voluntarily in the US military many decades ago, and became more patriotic as a result.

      • Mr. Post,
        Fox news commentator Tucker Carlson has complained, if there was widespread voter fraud why has the President’s team not presented this evidence in court? Good question.
        On the other hand both Republican and Democratic election officials as well as those in charge of monitoring the cyber security of the election have all said this has been a free and fair election. Recounts have, as in this race in Vermont, have only seen minor changes that did not affect the result of the election and at least in Vermont we have been able to move on. In this case without Mitzi Johnson. Given her ideological and political heavy hand, this is a welcomed change indeed.

        • Mr. Freitag,
          I doubt divulging evidence prior to a court case would be considered wise by any lawyer in the land. Especially to a media that has worked at every turn to destroy the President, Donald Trump. Too many of us are intellectually lazy and rely on MSM for our information. If there’s any doubt in your mind the media is corrupt then you qualify as on of these people. Trump’s popularity is at an all time high, while Biden was barely seen and never answered a non scripted question when he did come out of his hole. Could it be that he knew he’d win and chose not to campaign because of this knowledge? On top of this, the voting machines used have questionable security and have been blocked and deemed unusable by many due to their weakness. Many Democrats have questioned their reliability in the past. If you research this you’ll see it to be true. For four years, Dems have been trying to destroy this man and adjusting software is certainly not below where they’ll stoop. They would do anything to ensure he wouldn’t repeat as President. American people want answers. You should too as one day, you might be on the losing side of the corruption coin.

          • I agree Carlson Campbell that divulging evidence prior to a court case would not be wise. The frustration that Tucker Carlson was expressing on Fox News was that charges of widespread fraud were still being made while no evidence of widespread fraud that might have an impact on the various elections was being presented in the numerous court cases over the last two weeks.

            There has been widespread support for President Trump to use the court system and recounts to contest the election, as his right. To date this has been unsuccessful and it may be time as one of the Republican House leaders, Liz Cheney, has said that if President Trump cannot prove his claims of electoral fraud he should respect the sanctity of the electoral process.

          • Carson,

            There was widespread PREMEDITATED FRAUD IN ALL SWING STATES.

            When they saw Trump was winning by a landslide, they stopped the counting/slowed it down, as if on cue, votes for Biden were manufactured in all sorts of ways, ballots were altered by machine or by hand, pro-Trump ballots were held back, or deliberately lost.

            All of that has been revealed by sworn affidavits.
            Shenanigans in Georgia’s election appear to have been extremely egregious. Law suits have been filed. Just google.

            The self-serving, barely-surviving US Media and LEFT WING
            VT Media aim to create what they call “a fair and honest election” as a “fait accompli”, whereas, in fact, it was more like a Third World “coup d’etat”.

  7. Wonder what her reactions, mental thinking in her district is now with her locals turning against her. Being in office 18 years she developed a power crazed mentality and lost common sense and went against the people. Bet Cynthia Browning is rejoicing, ex D-Bennington that Johnson kicked off a chairmanship for opposing her.

    Now reality must be setting in for similar Liberals in Montpelier that have power, Garb, Baruth, LeLonde, Townhend, Till, Pugh, Mrowicki, Sirotkin , Mazza (mostly Chittenden County) and et al. will they be subject to the same fate?

    Always said, give a Liberal enough rope and they will hang themselves. Hope the house gets free of the cockroaches. The light is on them, can’t hide. The tide goes both ways.

    • Tom,

      Give a Communist or Socialist enough power to have CENTRALIZED COMMAND/CONTROL, as in Vermont, eventually all will collapse around them, as was proven in Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and China.

      Centralized control has NEVER worked.

      My adopted country was founded on LOCAL control

      The Founding Fathers ENSURED local control by having:


      Any teacher, who spouts nonsense against that, perverts the minds of gullible/naive young people, and is a traitor to our US Constitution.
      Such teachers should be summarily dismissed, even if they have “tenure”

      • Willem, I have for many years stated, wrote comments, emailed VT Senators and Reps about having only two Senators per county as in the US. Chittenden County has 6 Senators. It’s a way out of balance of power relative to the rest of VT. Supposedly, the number is based on population. Isn’t that what the number of Reps are for? Double jeopardy. If CA’s attitude would be like VT they would have many be 50 in DC. The founders were smart and perceptive.

        One contact was Sen Benning R-Caledonia to have a bill introduced to have only two Senators per country. His bill asked for three about 2 years ago. I differed.

        • Tom,
          It should be two Senators per COUNTY, in Vermont, so each COUNTY has an equal voice, to better preserve LOCAL CONTROL AND DEMOCRACY.

          Anything towards CENTRALIZED COMMAND/CONTROL should be stopped dead in its tracks, as being UN-American, not in the spirit of the US Constitution.

  8. The GWSA pushers in the Legislature, now fortunately voted out, came up with this idiotic concoction, patterned after California:

    GWSA and its 23-MEMBER COUNCIL

    GSWA converts the aspirational goals of the CEP, to mandated goals.

    In practice, the Council likely would be the sole decider how hundreds of millions of $dollars would be spent, each year, for decades, with no relief ever, because:

    If mandated goals are not attained, there would be mandated financial penalties, prohibitions (you shall do this; you shall not do that), fees and surcharges.

    The “Fight Climate Change” agitators, many of whom would stand to financially gain from the GWSA mandates, have failed to get a carbon tax enacted for five years.
    With GWSA, they will get a bonanza beyond their wildest dreams for decades.
    They labelled GWSA as “this year’s must-pass legislation”.

    GSWA has a 23-member Council. The Council make-up would include:

    1) Eight Government Secretaries and Commissioners
    2) Eight members appointed by the Speaker of the House
    3) Seven members appointed by the “Committee on Committees”, C of C
    The members of the C of C are the Lt Governor, Senate president pro tem, and a “third member” elected by the Senate
    See URL

    The Governor’s Secretary of Administration would be the Chairman.
    He/she has the power to call meetings.
    If he/she delays calling meetings, any 12 of 23 members could call a meeting.

    NOTE: The Governor would have only 8 votes, plus may be a few more, but likely not 5, i.e., the Governor could not override the 12 members calling a meeting.

    NOTE: The 23-member GWSA Council includes:
    Jared Duval, leading member of Energy Action Network
    June Tierney, Commissioner of Public Service, and member of EAN

    The action sequence would be as follows:

    Council would approve plans.
    VT Agency of Natural Resources, ANR, would write rules to implement plans,
    Council would approve rules
    Approved rules sent to the Governor’s Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules, ICAR
    ICAR is composed of Governor Appointees
    ICAR can reject the rules, i.e., the Governor can stop the process.

    What happens next likely would be lawsuits
    Any entity, such as the Conservation Law Foundation, could sue the state, if Council decisions would not reduce CO2 in accordance with GSWA/CEP goals.

    Legislators and Other Vermonters are Disenfranchised

    If mandated goals are not attained, there would be mandated financial penalties, prohibitions (you shall do this; you shall not do that), fees and surcharges
    If the Council would decide to impose the equivalent of a carbon tax, so be it.

    Legislators would not be allowed to vote on any plan, or any proposed rules.
    Legislators would not be voting on GWSA-related financial penalties, prohibitions, and increases in fees and surcharges.
    Legislators, and the people who voted for them, would be disenfranchised.
    Legislators would be “off-the-hook”.

    GWSA Likely is Unconstitutional

    On the face of it, GWSA has to be unconstitutional, because the Governor, and his administration, and Legislators, appear to have no effective say in any Council decisions.
    Such extremism could only come about due to the present, veto-proof control by Dem/Progs.
    This is Centralized Command and Control by the ruling Dem/Progs.
    It has nothing to do with give and take of Democracy.

    NOTE: Vermont is “lucky”, because it will have the California 14-y, GWSA-experience of rapidly increasing electric rates, and increasing gasoline and heating fuel prices, and rolling brown-outs/black-outs as a guide.

  9. Guy:

    We think alike…..Below is part of my TNR comment made this morning to Rob Roper’s OPED on Charlie Baker/TCI as I see it relating to Mitzi Johnson, Chesnut-Tangerman, Zuckerman and the Dem/Progs being sent home by the voters:

    “So what does Charlie Baker know that Ex- Vermont leaders Mitzi Johnson, David Zuckerman, Robin Chesnut-Tangerman and the other Dems/Progs didn’t know as they championed the GWSA and were subsequently fired by the people?

    The answer: Baker is smart enough to know that most people aren’t stupid……..A reality that Johnson, Zuckerman, etal miserably failed to comprehend as they pushed GWSA and other bad ideas into law……..And they have now paid the price.”

    I hope this agreement in though doesn’t mean we’re in a TNR echo chamber.

    Keep up the good work……You’re one hard working guy (No pun intended) and the readers appreciate your effort and the quality of your work.

    • Keep an eye out for these defeated progressives – they’ll most likely end up in some State-paid position until they run for office again.

      Just like their mentor Bernie, they’re not capable of earning a paycheck that doesn’t involve taxpayer dollars.

  10. Thank you ” The Islands & Milton ” for sending this carpet bagger packing,
    this is a great start for cleaning up the statehouse !!

    Conservatives keep picking away at the looney left that we have in the statehouse
    we need to save the state from all the lunacy.

    • North Hero, Grand Isle and South Hero voted for Mitzi. Alburgh and Isle la Motte voted for the Morgans, with Alburgh carrying the lions share of votes for the Morgans, and tipping the scales in their favor. According to the SOS website.

Comments are closed.