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It’s decision time for Vermont voters

VOTING IN BRISTOL in 2019.

ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County residents will have plenty of reasons to come out to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 9, to cast ballots in a series of primary runoffs that will solidify the final field of candidates for a variety of county, statewide and federal positions that will ultimately be decided in the General Election this November.

And in two cases, voting on Aug. 9 could become the final arbiter in two local races — for Addison County sheriff and the Addison-2 House seat. Republicans Michael Elmore and Ron Holmes are seeking to replace embattled incumbent Sheriff Peter Newton, and there are no Democrats or declared independents awaiting the winner for a Nov. 8 showdown. The same scenario is true for the Addison-2 House seat, where incumbent Rep. Peter Conlon, D-Cornwall, is opposed by Ripton Democrat Wendy Harlin of Ripton, with no GOP opponent waiting in the wings. The Addison-2 House district encompasses the communities of Cornwall, Goshen, Leicester, Ripton and Salisbury.

Here’s a brief rundown of the choices you’ll see on the Aug. 9 ballots, starting with the local races:

  • There’s a GOP primary for the Addison-5 House district (Jon Christiano of New Haven versus Zachary Kent of Bridport) and a Democrat clash (Lincoln native Tim Lueders-Dumont who currently resides in Montpelier, versus Eva Vekos of Middlebury) for Addison County state’s attorney. The Addison-5 primary winner will face Democrat Jubilee McGill on Nov. 8, while the state’s attorney nominee will face independent candidate Peter Bevere. The Addison-5 House district includes Bridport, Weybridge, most of New Haven and a tiny chunk of Middlebury that encompasses the Marble Works and Seymour Street neighborhoods.
  • A vast field of candidates are seeking to succeed longtime Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. The GOP field includes Gerald Malloy, Myers Mermel and Christina Nolan. Democrats running include Isaac Evans-Frantz, Niki Thran and current U.S. Rep. Peter Welch.
  • Welch’s interest in the Senate has prompted many takers for Vermont’s lone U.S. House seat. On the Democratic side, there’s Becca Balint, Molly Gray and Louis Myers. The name of Sianay Chase Clifford appears on the ballot, but she recently dropped out of the race. On the Republican side, the field includes Liam Madden, Ericka Bundy Redic and Anya Tynio.
  • Incumbent Governor Phil Scott is running for re-election. He’s garnered GOP opposition from Stephen C. Bellows and Peter Duval. On the Democratic side, only Brenda Siegel’s name appears on the ballot.
  • There’s a large field seeking to succeed incumbent Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, who’s running for Congress. The Democrats in the race include Charlie Kimbell, Patricia Preston, Kitty Toll and former Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman. The Republican field includes Joe Benning and Gregory Thayer.
  • Three Democrats are seeking their party’s nomination to succeed retiring Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos: Sarah Copeland Hanzas, John Odum and Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters. The winner will face Republican H. Brooke Paige in November. Paige is also the GOP’s lone candidate for state auditor of accounts, attorney general and state treasurer. He will be allowed to run in only one of those races.
  • Democrats Charity R. Clark and Rory Thibault will compete to advance to the General Election contest for Vermont attorney general.

Meanwhile, Starksboro residents on Aug. 9 will closely monitor returns on a special referendum critical to the town’s bid to exit the Mount Abraham Unified School District. Starksboro residents voted overwhelming to withdraw from the district earlier this year, as a means of keeping their local elementary school open. But now, the three other communities in the MAUSD — Bristol, Monkton and New Haven — must also endorse Starksboro’s exit in order for it to be considered by the State Board of Education evaluation. Lincoln residents won’t be voting on Starksboro’s exit because that community has already withdrawn from the MAUSD.

Read up on all the races and candidates in our full Vermont Primary election guide here.

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