August 25th, 2010
12:35 PM ET
4 years ago

Competitive Vermont race sneaks under the radar

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 Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial primary is still too close to call. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)


(CNN) – It's a race that the national media easily overlooked given more high profile contests in Arizona, Florida, and Alaska, but the battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Vermont has shaped up to be among Tuesday's most competitive elections.

The five-way race remains too close to call, with only 132 votes separating the top two finishers – State Sens. Peter Shumlin and Douglas Racine. A third candidate, state Sen. Deb Markowitz also remains very much in the mix, trailing Racine by only 651 votes.

Matt Dunne, a former state senator and executive at Google, finds himself 3,000 votes back while state Sen. Susan Bartlett came in at a distant fifth place.

Despite the unclear result, the five Democrats are slated to appear on the same stage at a "unity rally" later Wednesday. According to CNN affiliate WCAX, the Vermont secretary of state isn't likely to have official vote totals until next Tuesday and a recount is likely given a candidate may ask for one if the vote spread is less than 2 percentage points.

The ultimate winner will face Republican Brian Dubie, the state's lieutenant governor who ran unopposed in the GOP primary. The contest is to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Jim Douglass, who has held the statehouse since 2003.

Despite Vermont's overwhelmingly-Democratic leanings, the general election is expected to be tight, given the well-known Dubie has reportedly been able to amass a half-million dollar war-chest while the five Democrats spent close to $2 million fighting it out amongst themselves. Recent polls also suggest Dubie enjoys the advantage no matter which Democrat he faces.

Also in Vermont Tuesday, longtime Sen. Patrick Leahy easily coasted to victory in the Democratic primary, having no trouble fending off a challenge from physician and political novice Daniel Freilich. Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Vermont's longest serving senator, has been in the chamber since 1975.

Leahy will face Republican Len Britton in what is not expected to be a competitive general election, according to political handicappers Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg.


Filed under: 2010 • Vermont
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rush Goebbels

    Vermont thinks Bing is still living,must be nice,lets have a sing along.

    August 25, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. feed up in VT

    I am plesaed with the outcome from yesertday. I am a vermonter. I am a republican, but I put my state first. I beleive that it is time for politics as usual to end in Montperlier VT as well as Washington DC. I believe it is time that we remove all incumbents and bring in new people, with new ideas. That will be willing to work accross party lines instead of political finger pointing. I am very disatisfied with this past Vermont Legislature. IN the 2009 session the Democrates did what they wanted. The Republican members of the legislature brought forth a resolution before the house to temporarily cut pay by 5% since the state, as well as most states in the Union, have a large budget crisis, and the Democrates among party lines overwelming shot down the resolution. Then Gov. Douglas told the legislature that we can not pay for all the programes that they wanted to incease spending, and the Democrates went ahead and increased spending in the budget, while state employees had to be laid off because ot the budget crisis. Well when the Budget passed through the house and senate Douglase Vetoed the budget stating that spending had to be curtailed. The democrates, again amoung party lines over rode Douglases Veto of the Budget and it casued the state Deficite to rise even more than it would have.

    Then for this passed legislated session all legislators on both sides of the political isle finally decided to cut their pay by 5% temporarily. Then for the Budget Douglas stated the same thing as last year that spending needed to be reduced sine the state can not pay for all the programes and services that the democrates wanted to fund. The Democrates finally listend and cut spending and Douglase singed the budget into law.

    Now when you look at Washington bot parties do not want to work with each other. Both parties are pointing their fingers at each other and washington is starting to become a den of Theaves. Look at Charlie Rangle for NY he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and charged with ethics violations. That is just one example of why we need term limits for congress. If you stay in office to long then before to long you forget who sent you there and you start looking out for your self.

    August 25, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Kenneth Close

    All the primaries in the world make no difference until the pollsters start polling in late October.

    August 25, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Eric

    Yes, please do tell us how the angry, burned-out, arrogant, radical, socialist, 1960's aging baby boomer Vermonters voted...

    Vermont was once an amazing place, but it became the place where all the radical boomers went to "get their heads together."

    It's amazing the amount of damage the Worst Generation has done to this country in 45 short years, and so quickly off the heels of the accomplishments of the Greatest Generation.

    August 25, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Anne

    You Palin haters show your lack of intelligence. You resort to name calling because you have no logical argument to make.

    Let's see you hate her so much because why – you hate the fact that she is a real person with real values who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes. And for all of those who say she is a liar – it is not that she doesn't speak the truth – it is that you disagree with what she says.

    Keep on bashing her – you just make her more and more popular. She is middle America unlike our socialist, elitist President Obama. Obama doesn't know whose side he is on anymore.

    August 25, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Buster

    The demorats and nobummer are asking do we want to go back to the past or continued the present course. The past under President Bush was 5.5 percent unemployment, home sales were climbing and the deficit was not a third of what it is now. Then came the demorats in power in both houses of congress, then nobummer was elected and where do we stand now. To answer the question, yes we need to go back to where we were rather than the mess we are in now.

    August 25, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. Matt Trollinger

    Deb Markowitz is the Secretary of State, not a State Senator.

    August 25, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Rich Carlson

    I was disappointed that Ali V. did not mention Vermont Dem gov primary
    results on his segment of too close to call!

    August 25, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Vermont's cities are full of fruits, nuts, flakes and fairies. The non city residents of that stare are pretty much conservative and just laugh at those progressives living in the big city.

    August 25, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |