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Statewide, federal races to be decided

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Posted on November 1, 2018 |
By John Flowers



VERMONT — In addition to deciding local races for the Vermont Legislature and county positions, Addison County residents will have a voice on a variety of federal and statewide posts on Nov. 6. Here’s a brief guide to the major contests:

U.S. Senator

United States Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent, is seeking his third consecutive six-year term. The 77-year-old former Burlington mayor served as Vermont’s lone congressman from 1991 to 2007, then won election to the U.S. Senate post held for many years by the late Sen. James Jeffords. Sanders was re-elected in 2012 and is now seeking another term after having run for the Democrat Party nomination for president in 2016.

Sanders faces competition this year from Manchester Republican Lawrence Zupan, who is a real estate broker, and independent candidates Folasade Adeluola of Shelburne, Russell Beste of Burlington, Bruce Busa of Readsboro, Edward Gilbert Jr. of Barre Town, Brad Peacock of Shaftsbury and Jon Svitavsky of Bridport. He is also opposed by Liberty Union candidate Reid Kane of Shaftsbury.

U.S. House

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, is seeking his seventh consecutive two-year term.

Welch, 71, succeeded Sanders in 2007 as the state’s lone U.S. House Rep. He’s been re-elected by substantial margins ever since. A native of Springfield, Mass., Welch is a lawyer who settled in Vermont’s Upper Valley around four decades ago and worked as a public defender before founding a small law practice. He was a partner for 30 years in the personal injury firm of Welch, Graham & Manby in White River Junction.

He was first elected to the Vermont Senate in 1980 and later became the first Democrat in the state’s history to hold the position of Senate President Pro Tempore.

Welch ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1990, losing to Republic Richard Snelling.

He returned to the state Senate in 2002 and served two terms before seeking his election to the U.S. House. Welch is a Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. He serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Welch faces competition this year from Charleston Republican Anya Tynio, independent Cris Ericson and Liberty Union candidate Laura Potter.

Governor

Incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, a Berlin Republican, is seeking a second consecutive two-year term as the state’s top administrator. He was co-owner of Dubois Construction until selling his share after being elected governor in 2016.

Scott, 60, began his political career in 2000, when he won election to a state Senate seat representing Washington County.

He moved up the political ladder in 2010, when he was elected lieutenant governor. He served six years in that role prior to succeeding former Gov. Peter Shumlin in 2016.

Scott faces major party competition this year from Christine Hallquist, a Hyde Park Democrat and former CEO of the Vermont Electric Cooperative.

Hallquist is the first transgender gubernatorial candidate in the nation’s history.

Also vying for governor this year are independents Trevor Barlow of Cavendish, Cris Ericson of Chester and Charles Laramie of Fair Haven. Earth Rights candidate Stephen Marx and Liberty Union hopeful Emily Peyton are also in the race.

Lieutenant Governor

Hinesburg Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman, 47, succeeded Scott as lieutenant governor in 2016.

Zuckerman and his spouse, Rachel Nevitt, founded Full Moon Farm in Hinesburg in 2008.

He was elected to the Vermont House in 1996, representing the city of Burlington for 14 years.

In 2012, Zuckerman won election to the state Senate, and served two terms.

Zuckerman faces major party competition from Republican Don Turner of Milton, who has represented the Chittenden-10 House district since 2006. Turner, 54, has also served his hometown of Milton as a Realtor, landlord, firefighter, fire instructor, justice of the peace, fire warden, rescue squad volunteer and town manager and lawmaker.

Also vying for lieutenant governor this year is Liberty Union candidate Murray Ngoima of Pomfret.

State Treasurer

Shumlin appointed then-Deputy Treasurer Beth Pearce to her current job as treasurer in 2011, when Jeb Spaulding vacated the post to become Shumlin’s secretary of administration.

Pearce, 67, had served as deputy treasurer for seven years prior to her appointment. Prior to joining the Vermont State Treasurer’s Office, she served as Deputy Treasurer for Cash Management at the Massachusetts State Treasurer’s Office, and as Deputy Comptroller for the town of Greenburgh, N.Y. She has also served as a fiscal officer with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services and as a project director for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Human Services.

Pearce is being challenged this year by Brattleboro Republican Richard Morton. In 2010, Morton ran unsuccessfully for the House seat representing Windham 3-1 district.

Secretary of State

Incumbent Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, 67, is seeking his fifth, two-year term in office. The South Burlington Democrat previously served eight years in the Vermont Senate (2000-2008). He previously served 18 years on the Burlington City Council.

He is opposed this year by Republican H. Brooke Paige and Liberty Union candidate Mary Alice Hebert.

Auditor of Accounts

Burlington Democrat Doug Hoffer, 67, is seeking his fourth two-year term as state auditor. He came to Vermont in 1988 to work in Burlington’s Community & Economic Development Office. He left that post in 1993 to become a self-employed policy analyst for the ensuing 19 years. He was first elected state auditor in 2012.

Hoffer is being challenged this year by Brattleboro Republican Richard Kenyon and Liberty Union candidate Marina Brown of Charleston.

The auditor’s duties include presiding over the annual audit of the state’s financial statements — commonly known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. The Legislature also calls upon the auditor’s office to review the financial performance of other state programs, including all tax increment financing districts.

Attorney General

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, a South Burlington Democrat, is seeking a second, two-year term in office.

Donovan, 44, previously served 10 years as Chittenden County State’s Attorney.

The Attorney General is often called upon to represent the state in civil and criminal matters.

Donavan is being challenged this year by Republican Janssen Willhooit of St. Johnsbury and Liberty Union candidate Rosemarie Jackowski of Bennington.

Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected]

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