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August 29, 2012

Results from Vermont's Other Big Primary Match-Ups

The attorney general race is getting most of the attention on the morning after Vermont's 2012 primary, but as Paul Heintz wrote about in his Fair Game column on August 8, there were plenty of other interesting races dotting the state's voting landscape. Here's a roundup of some other notable results:

Governor - Progressive

First, the statewide races: Martha Abbott was the only announced candidate for governor in the Progressive Party primary, and it was expected that she would drop out of the race so as not to siphon away too many left-wing votes from Gov. Peter Shumlin. But some of Shumlin's most vehement detractors mounted a write-in campaign to nominate activist Annette Smith for the Progs.

It appears that the Smith supporters couldn't defeat Abbott for the nomination. Abbott unofficially held a 40-vote lead over the write-ins with 75 percent of precincts reporting, and it's not clear how many of those write-ins were for Smith. The Burlington Free Press reports that official results won't come until next week.

U.S. Senate - Republican

John MacGovern soundly defeated H. Brooke Paige in the race for the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination, unofficially winning by nearly 50 percentage points with more than 6400 ballots cast. MacGovern's prize? He'll face off against some independent named Bernie Sanders. Talk about an uphill battle.

Chittenden Senate - Democrat

David Zuckerman and Debbie Ingram joined the four Democratic incumbents in advancing to the general election this fall. Tim Ashe was the overall top vote-getter, followed by Ginny Lyons, Sally Fox, Zuckerman, Philip Baruth, and finally Ingram. Former House rep Peter Hunt missed out on the final spot by about 500 votes, and Burlington City Councilor Ed Adrian pulled in a respectable eighth-place finish with 3629 votes — even though he dropped out of the race a month ago. Loyal Ploof pulled up the rear with 1695 votes.

Republican incumbent Diane Snelling will also be on the ballot in November. The sixth incumbent, Hinda Miller, isn't seeking reelection.

Franklin Senate - Republican

The Republican primary for Senate in Franklin County was fraught with drama, from mysterious fearmongering leaflets to sneaky domain-name purchases. In the end, candidates Dustin Degree and Norm McAllister each won about 40 percent of the vote, good enough to advance to the general election. Joe Sinagra was left on the outside looking in, with 16 percent of the vote. Franklin County's two current senators, Democrat Sara Kittell and Republican Randy Brock, aren't seeking reelection.

Orange Senate - Democrat

Sen. Mark MacDonald lost his state Senate seat in 2000 after he supported civil unions, before winning it back in 2002. Facing another challenge this year, this time from fellow Democrat and web entrepreneur Tig Tillinghast, MacDonald retained the Democratic nomination by a 1589 to 635 margin, the Valley News reports.

Windham 2-3 - Democrat

With Progressive Sarah Edwards stepping down from her House seat representing Brattleboro, two Democrats — businessman Tristan Toleno and former Dean aide Kate O'Connor — battled for the nomination that would put them in the pole position to capture the seat. Toleno squeaked by O'Connor by about 5 percentage points. Did the controversy over O'Connor's work for Rich Tarrant's failed Senate bid scare voters away? Here's local coverage of the race from the Commons and the Brattleboro Reformer

Chittenden 6-1 - Democrat

Three Democrats battled for two seats in Burlington's New North End: nine-term incumbent Rep. Bill Aswad and newcomers Joanna Cole and Robert Hooper. Cole finished first overall, with Aswad not far behind. Those two and Republican incumbent Rep. Kurt Wright will meet in the general election for the two seats in Chittenden 6-1.

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