Scott, Milne win GOP primary races, but so do Klar-affiliated legislative candidates

By Guy Page

Incumbent Gov. Phil Scott trounced persistent challenger John Klar in Tuesday’s Republican primary election, but now Klar is pondering running as an independent in the Nov. 3 general election.

Klar emailed Vermont Daily on Wednesday and said he is undecided about whether to run as an independent in the Nov. 3 general election. He has filed the necessary paperwork to run as an independent, if he so chooses. Whether or not he runs in November, his campaign’s influence will be felt in the general election: at least five candidates affiliated with his campaign won GOP nominations in contested primaries.

With 99% of districts reporting, Scott had tallied 42,150 votes, Klar 12,757. Klar won seven small Vermont towns: Tinmouth, Troy, Ira, Jamaica, Lowell, Sandgate, and Searsburg. However, Republican voting in other towns and all urban areas ran strongly for Scott.

Milne wins lieutenant governor nomination

Wikimedia Commons/Stephen N. Flanders

Scott Milne

In the race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, businessman Scott Milne of Pomfret (46%) defeated health care policy advocate Meg Hansen (29%). At about 9 p.m. Tuesday night, with Milne up by about 10 percentage points and her impending loss uncertain but likely, Hansen shared her heart with her supporters on a  Facebook video: “I want to thank all of you who voted for me, who went to the polls today, absentee or early balloting … all day long I’ve been getting some wonderful messages .. I’m so honored,” she said, her voice breaking. “I’m grateful and honored to have participated in this.”

“There are tens of thousands of Vermonters who are hurting … the system doesn’t work,” Hansen said. “We stand up for what is right and call out what is wrong. … When people try to punch down on us and bully us, we stand up,” Hansen added.

“If a Democrat wins, it won’t change … the people who benefit from the status quo, they won’t change, and why should they, they benefit from it,” Hansen said. “It’s not wrong to want to buy a house and raise a family in Vermont, but it’s just completely out of reach here, and that’s what this campaign is about.”

Unknown Berry wins contested primary for Congress

Political unknown Miriam Berry of Essex Junction, a registered nurse, violin player and screenplay writer, defeated three other candidates, including 2018 nominee Anya Tynio, to win the Republican nomination for U.S. House. She will face incumbent Democrat Peter Welch, who easily won the nomination with 96% of the vote.

Berry earned 25% of the votes cast, enough to beat Justin Tuthill (19%), 2018 nominee Anya Tynio of Charleston (16%), and Jimmy Rodriguez (14%). Like Scott, Berry cleaned up in the larger communities, especially in Chittenden County.

Record-high turnout

Statewide, voter turnout as of 2 p.m. Wednesday totaled 159,701, with 99% of districts reporting. It was the highest vote total ever for a Vermont primary, eclipsing the previous record of 122,000. The record turnout is attributed to huge participation in the absentee-ballot-by-request program. Results published below do not include any write-in candidates, only those whose names were printed on the ballots.

Tomasi, Tucker & Alger win contested GOP Washington County Senate primary

Washington County Democrat senate incumbents Anthony Pollina, Ann Cummings and Andy Perchlik will face challenges in November from Republicans Dawn Marie Tomasi, Dwayne Tucker, and Ken Alger. Former Montpelier Bridge publisher Nat Frothingham will run as an independent.

Tucker, who ran for Senate two years ago, and Tomasi, a political newcomer affiliated with the Klar campaign, both had 2,545 votes, good for 14.7% of total votes cast. had 2,489 votes. Alger, who also ran two years ago, had 2,388 votes, for 13.8% Brent Young finished out of the running with 11%.

There were at least four contested GOP primaries in the 150 districts of the Vermont House of Representatives.

Incumbent Graham, newcomer Lefebvre take Orange-1 primary

Samantha Lefebvre

Newcomer Samantha Lefebvre (20% of vote), a 25-year-old mom and business owner, edged out another John Klar-affiliated candidate, Levar Cole (16%), to win the Republican nomination for the second seat in the Orange 1 House district (Orange, Williamstown, Corinth, Vershire, Chelsea, Washington). Incumbent Rodney Graham was the leading vote-getter, with 30%.

Brennan, Lynch win in Malletts Bay district

Incumbent Pat Brennan (38%) and Klar-affiliated candidate Jon Lynch (22%) won the GOP nomination for the two-seat Malletts Bay, Colchester district, Chittenden 9-2. Alex Darr finished a distant third.

Toscano tops in Hinesburg

Sarah Toscano (45%), another Klar-affiliated candidate, defeated Dean Rolland (37%) in the Chittenden 4-2 (Hinesburg) district. Toscano will face incumbent Rep. Bill Lippert.

Strong, Young take Orleans/Caledonia primary

Incumbent Vicki Strong (40%) and Klar-affiliated candidate Jeannine Young (21%) of Craftsbury finished 1-2 in the GOP primary for the two-seat Orleans/Caledonia House seat. Tabitha Armstrong and Frank Huard combined netted less than 20%. This district represents a possible GOP “pickup” in November as incumbent Democrat Sam Young opted to not seek re-election.

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

Images courtesy of Flickr/Gage Skidmore and Wikimedia Commons/Stephen N. Flanders
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30 thoughts on “Scott, Milne win GOP primary races, but so do Klar-affiliated legislative candidates

  1. So it’s pretty easy, we can have Phil ” rino” Scott as we know what we got,
    or David ” socialist ” Zuckerman…..pretty easy !!

    The Democrats are already circling the wagons for Zuckerman and the
    Republicans, are pissing on there feet !!!

    Wake up people

  2. Mr. Klar – please run as Indy – we have nothing left to lose. When the paymaster comes knocking – then and only then will ppl awaken and another exodus in the offing. Keeping assorted Communists and their Rino stepsiblings in power should not be our longterm goal.

    KLAR2020 Go John! 😀

  3. It is my contention that a lot of Progressive Commiecrats crossed party lines to vote for Scott because on the Progressive Commiecrat side they are all the same. They know a lot of people will vote for Klar if he runs independent or is written in making Scott the weak sister. If he does win the P/Cs still got a guy they can lead around by the nose. I will not vote for Scott a person that no convictions or moral compass. He will try to please anyone to retain power. He is a useful idiot. I will write in Klar and Hansen and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe the we should let the inmates run the asylum and then see what it looks like afterward.

    “In politics nothing happens by accident. If it happens you can bet it was planned that way”. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

    • Great inspiring comment – just what I needed. Was still in funeral mode so many thanks. And yeah – Communist Dems plus Progs are obviously going to vote Scott – he’s one of them. Nor will I vote Benedict Scott – evah! But will write in Klar unless he runs Indy which is what I wish for.

      We already have a Dem running the show – just as Hussein paved the way for Trump – Zuck the shmuck could pave the way for a true conservative so there’s nothing left to lose – thank God each term is for two years tho Douglas and Scott tried to get this changed. And I believe Klar could win – in a threeway whovever gets the most votes will likely win – and I believe John Klar could win easily.

      • I do not believe Zuck would win – he’s a Prog and Dems already have their safest bet. So he’d get the Prog vote but unsure if that would be enough to cross the line. Most voters are reliably swing or Independent – whoever gets their message to them will win. If Klar runs it will be anyone’s game – exciting!

  4. John, The folks have spoken. They sent a strong message that Scott is their guy. If you run as an Indepandent, you’ll be assisting the Dem in the general. Best you go home and lick your wounds.

  5. It was a surprise to see so many candidates on the GOP ballot for governor. That’s what guaranteed Chairman Scott’s hold for the November election. I wouldn’t put it past him and the GOP establishment to have encouraged others to run so as to water down the votes in disarray. Those who lost and have real conservative values should stay in the fight and exert pressure on the Republicans.

    • We have choices,

      A) throw rinos out
      B) become a RINO party
      C) find a unifying message
      D) continue infighting which leads to no votes and losses
      E) ask for help nationally
      F) start anew
      G) form a caucus that unifies all VERMONTERS under welcoming tent.
      F) sell our souls to the New World Order

      I’m sure there are other options too, these are the one that come quickly to mind. In Meg’s case I suspect all those who did not vote for Scott, would have still, not voted for scott and put Meg in the win column for the primary. If she modified her speech and focused directly on the plight of Vermonter, ” it’s not wrong to want to live, start a family in Vermont” she could have won with that message alone, leave the answers for after the election. Scott probably could not have worked with her, which is very telling and feather in her cap.

      Ironically, Gray left the state because she couldn’t get the employment she needed in the state. She didn’t even vote. Now she is coranated as our savior. Such garbage. She’ll not bring lasting solutions to Vermont, only socialism.

      does Vermont need more slick talking lawyers that can speak from both sides of their mouths? Meg would have been our best choice for lt Governor.

    • I think other than Klar and incumbent Chairman Phil two are perennials? And I did not see phantom can’tidate Hoyt anywhere lol? Unless mistaken was nothing but a bunch of hooey?

    • Agree. If the Rinos are allied with the Communists – can’t think of a better way to make sure they see the error of attmpting to have it both ways – the true ‘awakening’.

  6. so I wonder what these mental midgets will do with this info:

    Vermont is second from last to NY for economic outlook…

    they should all be thrown out of office and let us start over!

    • 1/3 on government hand outs 1/3 great government salaries….so 2/3 of our population think Vermont is utopia…..

      these are the deep socialist waters…..

      Why doesn’t it change….here is one reason. The other being we are so completely subverted, indoctrinated…people don’t think, we’re so used to being poor, we don’t know how to live otherwise….it is discussed by those KGB agents who were trained in subverting countries and successful, think Venezuela of recent.

      Our educational system has and is setting our country/state up for failure.

      Sun Tzu…..we need to know the terrain in which we wage war, or suffer defeat. Trump will lose this election in Vermont. Trump would have a completely different plan for Vermont ifhe was running for Governor, it would not be a traditional campaign.

  7. Phil Scott has realized that he doesn’t have to give his constituents what they want and he can still get elected. I’m not helping him again.

    • And Shummy also ignored his base. Which is why the best outcome for VT *and* Benedict Scott is to become a textbook example of how to lose an election is to turn on your base. Rather than being the ‘most popular governor’ he, fellow Dems and Rino bffs could *all* go down in defeat. And he’s the one who so arrogantly claimed to be a ‘victim of his own success’ lol.

  8. John Klar, thanks for your hard effort. You focused on some very important issues. I’m sorry you didn’t win it. But you won my town. I’m not sure what to tell you regarding running as an independent. But I’m not going to be mad if you do. I’ll vote for if you do. I won’t vote for Phil Scott if you don’t. I did that last time. Not again.

      • We need an awakening, because some people just aren’t getting it. The speech above from her defeat, should be her campaign. Should be the campaign for John Klar. We need to galvanize and focus on true problems. Our beloved party doesn’t get it, they aren’t supporting.

        The winning slogan is Affordability, School Funding and Drugs…which is really the campaigns of two people, Meg Hansen and John Klar, in a simplified form that people can understand.

        I’m under no illusion that John, nor Meg would win, this time. We need to stand against the socialist take over. We will find no solice in becoming the first state in the nation to become a colony of the united nations.

        We need to work together, which is not happening ANYWHERE.

        If they ran as independants, if they had done this earlier with more people we would have a new beginning. Their political careers could be over forever, as they would be considered traitors by many. Our rino’s might lose, which might put the complete disaster rightfully on the shoulders of the NWO pimps in Montpelier, who would they have to blame?

        Then perhaps we could at least start to build. We do need to be mindful we are patriots trying to right a ship that is sailing in triggered waters where the populace for many are even afraid to support America, we are in that deep.

        It is sad seeing all the “support” for Molly Grey as the “new” face of politics, that was and is Meg Hansen. HELLO!!! Did we work together, were the other guys going to beat Scott Milne? No, they should have stepped aside and supported Meg, she very well would have won, even if the conventional wisdom says she wouldn’t win in Vermont general, we would have been building a party of ideals and not slick talking sell outs. We stepped aside in the Lt. Gov race to make way for the last election knowing full well, the rep ticket wasn’t going to beat Zuckerman.

        It may not work this election, but dam ,we need to do better next. We need to come together as a team. I’ve got a massive socialist hangover…..

        • The awakening wasn’t in reference to John and Meg…..our system, is severely broken, divided and self defeating. Who are we?

          Where are we going? What does the public want? All across the state I saw together Meg Hansen and John Klar, I didn’t see signs for Scott or Milne. There is an untapped support, if we only took that energy and focused the efforts, for some wins….even 2 or 3.

          Our message as conservatives, in a sea of socialism has to be different, otherwise we’ll lose. Everyone knows this, Scott plays off this all the time to keep his office, it doesn’t however, mean you have to give up your values.

          Meg summed it up perfectly with this….

          It’s not wrong to want to buy a house and raise a family in Vermont, “but it’s just completely out of reach here, and that’s what this campaign is about.”


          This is the perfect conservative pitch for our state.

        • No “we” do not have those choices – which are the height of arrogance – ya can’t just throw someone out of the party or get rid of the Rinos. Nor can you tax all the things you would like if so pls offer some proof? And taxes aren’t a solution. Sheesh. And once again you offer no proof that you’re right bc ya can’t – and your opinion is not a solution either. By your own definition each time you slam others in the Republican Party you are in fact ‘infighting’ – which pretty much includes many of your ideas. And tho sincere how is the unending blather helpful.

          Both parties are polarized nationally as well as in the states and there are divisions within the parties – so our tiny state is no different? For the most part the Republicans *did* get behind Trump in congress and tho I do not agree that Chairman Phil is the right choice for VT – the party got behind him and Milne. The division between globalism and sovereignty is in fact worldwide. We stand out more bc of our constitutionally protected rights which are not enshrined in other nations governance.

          Our real choice is to vote which includes voting with our feet.

          • If you’re against taxing a lobbyist, PAC or porn, but you’ll allow everything else on the planet to be taxed…..

            If we can’t take any criticism, while we are continually losing, the criticism may not be correct true, but our losing is real. Why?

            One of these thing is not like the other, one of these thing is kin of the same. Can you tell which thing is not like the other before we finish this song?

            Cooks don’twork well when you’re trying to build a bridge. Hairstylists don’t make for good septic service.
            Concert violinist struggle on the construction site.

            When I mess up, it’s time for self reflection. It’s time for a different plan. People screw up, it’s part of life and growing. I’m doing it now, may others join in and reap similar benefits, arrogantly or humbly.

          • The height of arrogance is saying one has the correct plan and path, never deviating and losing because of it! For decades!

            Not taking in wisdom and any public input? I’ve tried thingsand failed miserably, certainly not doing that again. Why would I want my brothers and sisters to experience the same pain?

          • Facts are stubborn things. Not a matter of taking criticism – a matter of whether it’s valid – which you have failed to prove. Correlation equals causation is a fallacy – and that *is* a fact.

            So…if a majority of the Democrats and Progs vote their fellow Comrade to the Republican Party nom – and you’re blame-gaming the Republicans and Indys? Hopefully we can learn to entertain the notion we could be wrong? Which then becomes an attack on those we should be helping and supporting?

            Your bashing of and continual fingershaking blame of Republicans is a downer – how is this helping anyone? Appears more about you pushing your own opinion. And yes that’s all it is – as fact – that’s the real problem here.

            If the Dems and Rinos are alligned than let them lose together in the bed they are so cozy in.

            Pls just build your coalition of merry kind-hearted Democrats, Communists and Republicans Neil – then kindly report on how it’s working?

          • We learn thru failing – and pain is gain. Thinking one has all the answers to prevent this while presupposing self to be correct and additionally in possesion of right plan is arrogance multiplied by three lol.

            Cooks hairstylists violinists (?) is another attempt to make a claim where there exists no evidence to prove whatever it is you’re trying to prove.

            Back to the drawing-board much?

  9. I congratulate the efforts of two Republican candidates that I had listened to on several occasions – John Klar and Meg Hansen. They know the serious issues that face Vermont and are willing to address them, and not just kick the can down the road. They ran very good campaigns and I think if the VT media outlets would have given them as much time as the Dems/Progs they would have gotten hundreds more votes! I say to them, John and Meg, keep up the fight, we need you and the other conservative candidates to fight the decline of our State. You are great assets to VT. Thanks for the hard work you’ve done!

  10. Congratulations to all the GOP winners, and to those that didn’t win, please
    don’t give up………………

    So the voters have spoken, we need to gather around the winners,
    whether you voted for them or not.

    We need to push to have a Governor and a Lt Governor within the GOP,
    as this is a start on chipping away at the Liberal Stranglehold on the state.

    The Political profile needs to change or the state is doomed.under the progressivies,
    just Imagine a ” Gov. Zuckerman “, you think the state has problems now with
    spending, taxes and unfunded liabilities………. Hold on !!.

    Oh yeah, John Klar I voted for you, but please ” don’t ” try a third-party run,
    your time will come !!

  11. I say John Klar should run as an independent. If he makes the governor lose let the progressives have it all so they can bankrupt the state sooner instead of the slow death we have now. I can always move across the river and hopefully wait it out. We have two republican top tier candidates who can’t even support our president, two RINOs who call themselves conservatives. I can’t vote for either of them and if they win it will be the same as always, bad and getting worse.

    • Yes Dano! If the best card Chairman Scott can play is to claim to be the “backstop” to the Democrat Party of which he defacto belongs – we now have *nothing* to lose lol. Personally have 1 1/2 feet out the door anyways – I’d rather help NH or Maine Live Free or Die.

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