By Guy Page
Incumbent Rep. Warren Van Wyck (R-Addison 3) won the Aug. 14 GOP primary on write-in votes alone. At least seven other would-be GOP lawmakers and four Democrats also won write-in nominations.
Van Wyck will face incumbent Diane Lanpher (D) and newcomer Matt Birong (D) in the Nov. 6 general election. The three-term lawmaker from Ferrisburgh announced this spring he would not seek re-election. When no other Republican nominees came forward, Rep. Van Wyck threw his hat back into the ring as a write-in candidate.
Van Wyck received 105 votes — far more than the 25 needed to qualify. Vermont state law says “a write-in candidate shall not qualify as a primary winner unless he or she receives at least one-half the number of votes as the number of signatures required for his or her office on a primary petition.” State representative candidates must collect 50 signatures.
Other successful House and Senate write-in nominees include:
Patrick Gilligan of Vernon, age 25, received 67 write-in votes and will contest Democrat Sarah Coffey for the Windham 1 (Vernon-Guilford) seat. Rep. Mike Hebert chose to not seek re-election.
Jim O’Connor (56 votes) will face Nelson Brownell (D) in the Bennington-1 (Pownal-Woodford) district. O’Connor has twice lost in the general election to Rep. Bill Botzow, who is not seeking re-election.
In Colchester, Pam Loranger will join Pat Brennan on the two-seat District 9-2 (Malletts Bay) ballot. Ms. Loranger received 177 votes.
Ed Read (25 votes) qualified to receive the nomination for the Washington 7 (Waterbury) district, now held by Rep. Maxine Grad, the chair of House Judiciary.
Robert McFadden (30 votes) will face Sandy Haas, vice-chair of Human Services, in the Windsor-Rutland District race.
In the Senate election, former Essex Junction Rep. Paul Dame received 69 write-ins to join Alex Farrell on the GOP slate for Chittenden County.
Tyler Colford (55 votes) will challenge incumbent Democrat Sens. Becca Balint and Jeannette White in Windham County.
On the Democratic side, Guy Isabelle of Barre Town received 47 votes and will face Republican incumbents Rob LaClair and Topper McFaun in November. Also, Sheryl Hooker, Greg Cox, and Scott Garren all won Democratic write-in nominations to the Rutland County Senate race.
Several Independent and major party ballot nominees also won write-in nominations for parties other than their own. For a complete list of all parties’ House and Senate primary winners can be seen on the Vermont Daily Chronicle, a new online news publication.
Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.