Minter, Scott Win Nominations

  • Republican gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Phil Scott speaks in Barre, Vt., on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, after defeating Bruce Lisman in the primary. (Burlington Free Press - Glenn Russell) Burlington Free Press — Glenn Russell

  • Sue Minter gives a victory speech during the campaign party for Vermont gubernatorial canadate Sue Minter at Main Street Landing on Tuesday night August 9, 2016 in Burlington. (Burlington Free Press - Brian Jenkins) Burlington Free Press — Brian Jenkins

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/10/2016 12:20:29 AM
Modified: 8/10/2016 11:31:20 AM

Democrat Sue Minter, a former lawmaker and transportation secretary, and Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott claimed their party nominations for governor on Tuesday and will face each other in November in the race to succeed outgoing Gov. Peter Shumlin.

With 93 percent of cities and towns reporting, Waterbury’s Minter had 33,991, or just over 50 percent, of the Democratic primary votes. Hartland native Matt Dunne, a former state senator and Google executive, had 24,448, or 36 percent; and former state Sen. Peter Galbraith, of Townshend, had 6,215, or 9 percent, of the votes.

On the Republican side, Scott had 25,850 votes, or just under 60 percent, to 17,109, or 39.4 percent, for former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, the Associated Press called it for Burlington-area state Sen. David Zuckerman, who had 44 percent to about 38 percent for House Speaker Shap Smith and about 18 percent for Rep. Kesha Ram.

Scott said he would continue with the themes he has pressed in the primary campaign.

“This is going to be a campaign about the economy, making Vermont more affordable and restoring faith and trust in the political process,” he said. “I look forward to having discussions about the issues that face Vermonters, and I think the economy is one that most Vermonters understand is very important.”

Former state Sen. Randy Brock, R-Franklin, is the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor.

Minter, who had won the backing of former govs. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin, praised her campaign team and said she looked forward to the fall. “I’ve got a great field staff. We’ve got wonderful volunteers and I think it’s really about my message to move Vermont forward. People want to hear about economic opportunity, education and a green economy.”

Dunne posted strong results in the Upper Valley, but not enough to edge out Minter. Dunne won his hometown of Hartland handily over Minter, 555-122, and also took neighboring Windsor and Hartford by wide margins.

Scott defeated Lisman in Hartford, 239-169.

Outside the polls at Hartford High School, Heather Lancor and her daughter Courtney Lancor, of White River Junction, said they came out to vote for Scott based on his support of the Second Amendment.

“He’s big on gun owner rights,” Heather Lancor said. Minter has called for a ban on assault weapons and universal background checks.

Among Democrats, Dunne enjoyed strong support in the area despite hiccups in the past weeks over accusations of waffling on self-funding his campaign and renewable energy siting.

Terry Boone, of Norwich, summed up his support for the gubernatorial candidate in four words: “Energy. Enthusiasm. Good ideas.”

A few minutes later, outside Tracy Hall, Steve Ness said he had voted for Dunne based on his credentials as a technology executive.

“He’s kind of in the right sector to lead Vermont into the future,” Ness said.

On the other hand, Tim Brownell, also from Norwich, said he had been turned off by Dunne’s “flipping around” — especially by the Hartland candidate’s recent criticism of Galbraith, a multi-millionaire, for self-funding his campaign, even as Dunne lent his own campaign $95,000.

Margie Waters, who was standing nearby, chimed in.

“The more women in power, the better,” she said.

Minter had drawn support from Kunin, Vermont’s first and, so far, only female governor, and her support for equal pay for women, among other stances, appeared to have swayed many female voters on Tuesday.

“She for sure would care about women’s rights,” White River Junction resident Linda Kahl said of Minter.

Kahl added that she had voted for Minter because she felt that the former transportation secretary’s response to Tropical Storm Irene had demonstrated her capability as a leader.

Material from the Associated Press and Valley News staff writer Matt Hongoltz-Hetling contributed to this report. Rob Wolfe can be reached at
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