Northshire mirrors statewide voting

MANCHESTER - With the elections now all but over, it is clear the state has leaned towards the side of the Democratic Party.

Peter Shumlin won re-election for Governor over Republican hopeful Randy Brock, 56 percent to 39 percent, with Shumlin receiving more than 120,000 votes.

Other winners included Phil Scott for Lieutenant Governor, Beth Pearce for Treasurer, James Condos for Secretary of State, and William Sorrell for Attorney General. The closest race was for the Vermont State Auditor as Doug Hoffer squeaked by Vince Illuzi 49 percent to 46 percent, which came as a surprise to some.

As the results were finalized, the time for analysis arrived.

Cynthia Browning, one of two State Representatives who ran unopposed in the district that includes Manchester, Arlington, Sandgate, and part of Sunderland, said that she was really surprised by some of the results.

"Nothing that has happened has really surprised me," she said. "I thought the race for state auditor between Illuzi and Hoffer could have gone either way. It looks like Hoffer is going to get the win and I am excited about that."

Browning's seatmate, Jeff Wilson, was also surprised by how things shook out during the election.

"I think the two biggest surprises for me were that Doug Hoffer beat Vince Illuzi in the Auditor's race," said Wilson. "As an observer I thought Senator Illuzi had the upper hand, he had most of the endorsements from newspapers, but Hoffer ended up winning. I was surprised also by Beth Pearce for Treasurer, not necessarily that she won but that race was not as close as I had anticipated."

Patty Komline, the State representative for the Dorset area, said she was more surprised with how close the Lieutenant Governor race was.

"I was quite surprised Phil Scott's opponent, Cassandra Gekas, got as many votes as she did. She didn't run a real aggressive campaign. It was interesting to see how many votes she received."

The most highly contested races in the local area was for Vermont State Representative for Windsor-Bennington-Windham District between Emmett Dunbar and Charles "Tim" Goodwin and for Vermont State Representative for the Rutland-Bennington 1 District between Estella Leach and John Malcolm.

Goodwin, with 1,298 votes, was able to take the win away from Dunbar, who pulled in 1,013 votes. The race between Leach and Malcolm was highly contested, but Malcolm pulled away with a 1,212 to 999 vote advantage.

With Barrack Obama retaining the presidency over Mitt Romney, Vermont was clearly pro-Obama, who received 67 percent of the vote.

Komline was not surprised that Obama won Vermont handily, but has noticed this state is becoming much more Democratic-leaning and with Hurricane Sandy hitting the northeast the way it did, it only helped Obama's cause.

"Right after a crisis there is a surge of support for the leader. Right after 9/11 everyone rallied around Bush. The hostage crisis, everyone rallied around Carter," she said. "I think this election showed that this state has changed and that the Republican party has to really pay attention to that if they still want to be players in Vermont."

Browning and Wilson were happy with the outcome of the presidential election and are looking at is as a positive for the state.

"I voted for Obama and I don't think Romney was firm enough in what his policies really were and I think Obama was the better candidate," said Browning. "In terms of why I supported President Obama - I was concerned that a President Romney would have undone the recent new regulations of the financial sector and Wall Street, which I see as essential, and that he would have undone some of the useful aspects of the federal health reform law."

"Vermont was a strong Obama supporter four years ago and was again this year," said Wilson. "This state had the largest victory margin for Obama in the continental 48, Hawaii is the only state that had a higher margin then Vermont. I guess it demonstrates how committed Vermonters were to President Obama and what he is trying to accomplish."

Winner of Vermont elections are as follows: Vermont State Senator - Bernie Sanders, Vermont State Representative to Congress - Peter Welch, Vermont Governor - Peter Shumlin, Vermont Lieutenant Governor - Phil Scott, Vermont State Treasurer - Beth Pearce, Vermont Secretary of State - James Condos, Vermont Auditor - Doug Hoffer, Vermont Attorney General - William Sorrell, Vermont State Senator -Peter Galbraith and Jeanette White (Windham County) Bob Hartwell and Richard Sears (Bennington County) Vermont State Representative from the Windham-Bennington-Windsor District - Charles "Tim" Goodwin, Vermont State Representative from Rutland-Bennington District 1 - John Malcolm.


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