ADDISON COUNTY — Democrats Amy Sheldon and Betty Nuovo will continue their respective bids for Middlebury’s two seats in the Vermont House on Nov. 4, thanks to their performances in Addison County’s lone contested legislative primary on Tuesday.
Sheldon, an East Middlebury resident and natural resource planner, recorded the most votes (460) in the Democratic primary for the Addison-1 district. Nuovo, an incumbent marking her 28th year representing Middlebury in the House, also assured her spot on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot by registering 378 tallies on Tuesday.
Former Better Middlebury Partnership President Donna Donahue finished out of the running with a third-place finish of 324 votes.
“I’m thrilled,” Sheldon said of her win after all the votes had been counted. “I feel very good about my campaign. I stuck to my values and priorities and feel they resonated with the voters. I am excited to continue on in the race.”
Sheldon is eager to help with ongoing reform of the state’s health care system and believes she also has the background to help advance environmental initiatives.
“I am excited to bring my background and skills in economics, natural resources, and nonprofit and small business management to Montpelier to work on the two most pressing issues facing Vermonter’s today — the implementation of single-payer health insurance and climate change,” Sheldon stated during a recent interview. “Addressing both of these items will save us money and heartache while stimulating our economy.”
Nuovo was also pleased to advance in the election.
“It feels very good,” Nuovo said of her second-place finish.
Nuovo is currently a member of the House Natural Resources & Energy Committee. She said she would be happy to remain on that panel. She said she has gained a reputation for combing over bills to make sure they are properly written. Her priorities for the next biennium include promoting economic growth, improving the quality of public education and assisting in the development of a single-payer health care system for the state.
Donahue was gracious in defeat in what was her first bid for a House seat. She had earned an endorsement from Rep. Paul Ralston, D-Middlebury, who has decided not to run for re-election.
“I’m obviously disappointed, but I want to thank all those people who voted for me and I want to thank those who made donations, wrote letters and offered me their encouragement,” she said in a post-primary statement. “Very special thanks to Paul Ralston, Betty and Victor Nuovo, Nancy Malcolm, Adrienne Illick MacIntyre and Shane Kean for their unwavering support, help and encouragement. I congratulate Betty and Amy.”
Sheldon and Nuovo will join independents Calvin McEathron, a Middlebury College student, and former UD-3 board member Thomas Hughes in what will be a four-way race for the two available seats on Nov. 4.
While there were no other contested local primary races on Tuesday, several residents had appealed for write-in votes in their belated efforts to get on the General Election ballot.
And most were successful, based on a review of primary election returns from select towns.
Addison Republican Peter Briggs was seeking at least 25 write-in votes in order to compete in the race for the two House seats representing Addison-3, the district that includes Vergennes, Ferrisburgh, Addison, Panton and Waltham.
As it turned out, Briggs more than clinched the ballot spot with the 48 write-in tallies he received in his hometown of Addison. He also got 26 in Ferrisburgh and 10 in Panton. Vergennes and Waltham write-in results were not immediately available.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their vote of confidence,” Briggs said Wednesday morning. “This community (Addison) does well in supporting its own. I look forward to running in the November election.”
There, he will face incumbent Reps. Diane Lanpher, D-Vergennes, and Warren Van Wyck, R-Ferrisburgh, and Addison Democrat John Spencer.
Also lobbying for write-in support on Tuesday were the three candidates for Addison County side judge: Alice George of Middlebury, Mark Smith of Middlebury and Irene Poole of Ripton. See related story.
In statewide contests in Tuesday’s primary:
• Mark Donka of Hartford and Donald Russell of Shelburne were in a tight race in the Republican Primary for Vermont’s U.S. House seat, currently held by Democrat Peter Welch. Donald Nolte of Derby was third in the GOP Primary. Donka lost in a General Election contest with Welch in 2012.
• Scott Milne of Pomfret was the clear winner over Steve Berry of Wolcott and Emily Peyton of Putney in the GOP primary for governor.
• Incumbent Gov. Peter Shumlin of East Montpelier easily defeated H. Brooke Paige of Washington in the Democrat primary for governor.
• Incumbent Attorney General William Sorrell of Burlington easily bested Paige in the Democrat Primary for attorney general.
Reporter John Flowers is at email@example.com.