• Former state Rep. David Ainsworth, R-Royalton, speaks about his legislative experience during a debate with Rep. Sarah Buxton, D-Tunbridge, at the South Royalton School in the rematch for their two-town seat on October 24, 2016. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
David Ainsworth Declared Winner In Windsor-Orange 1 House Race

Woodstock — A Vermont Superior Court judge has added one vote to the recount tally for Royalton Republican David Ainsworth and officially declared him the winner in the Windsor-Orange 1 House race.

Judge Robert Gerety Jr. said in a ruling signed on Friday that there was a “reasonable degree of certainty” that a disputed ballot where the mark was just outside the oval by Ainsworth’s name showed voter intent to support him. As a result, Ainsworth finished with 1,005 votes, to 1,003 for state Rep. Sarah Buxton, D-Tunbridge. She had won the seat six years ago by defeating Ainsworth, then the incumbent, by one vote in 2010.

A recount in the two-town district earlier last week showed Ainsworth with a one-vote victory, and Gerety’s ruling made it a two-vote margin. Buxton said via email she accepts the results.

“I’m pleased that the recount process we pushed for resulted in eight more ballots being counted in the race. At the end of the day, it’s better to have lost in a system that counts all votes than win in a system that falls short. Thank you to all those who helped count votes (and recount votes!) and supported my work throughout the years,” she said.

— Fifteen towns in New Hampshire’s North Country are trying to team up to boost economic development.