By Anne Galloway
This election cycle, no big names are challenging incumbents U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, who are up for re-election in Congress this November.
The filing deadline was June 1 for major party candidates to file with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office ahead of the August 14 primary election. The general election is Nov. 6.
Sanders, 76, who ran in the 2016 presidential primary for the Democratic nomination, won by a landslide in his last race for Senate in 2012, and is thought to be unbeatable this go around.
In the primary, Sanders, who has registered as a Democrat, will face Rocky de la Fuenta, an erstwhile candidate for president who hails from California, and Folasade Adeloula, a resident of Shelburne.
Sanders’ Republican challengers in the general election on Nov. 6 include Jasdeep Pannu, a Burlington attorney, Lawrence Zupan, a little-known actor and real estate agent from Manchester, and gadfly H. Brooke Paige, who has filed petitions in the U.S. House race and three statewide races.
Two Democrats are challenging Welch in the primary, Dan Freilich, a doctor who works at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction and Benjamin Mitchell of Bellows Falls who runs a school in Keene, N.H. Paige and Anya Tynio of West Charleston are running on the Republican ticket against Welch.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott is being challenged in the primary by Keith Stern, who lives in North Springfield and owns a produce market in White River Junction.
Four Democrats are vying in the gubernatorial primary: James Ehlers, the former head of Lake Champlain International; Christine Hallquist, the former CEO of Vermont Electric Coop; Brenda Siegel, an arts administrator; and Ethan Sonneborn, an 8th grader in Bristol.
Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton, declared his bid for lieutenant governor earlier this week. He will be challenging incumbent Lt. Gov. Dave Zuckerman, a Progressive/Democrat from Hinesburg.
The race for state Senate is shaping up Chittenden County, where all six of the county’s incumbent senators are running for re-election: Burlington Democrat/Progressives Tim Ashe and Philip Baruth; Progressive/Democrat Chris Pearson of Burlington; Democrats Debbie Ingram and Virginia “Ginny” Lyons of Williston, and Michael Sirotkin of South Burlington.
They so far have five challengers: Democrats Finnian Boardman Abbey of Jericho, Val Carzello of South Burlington, and Steve May of Richmond; and Republicans Alex R. Farrell of Burlington and Dana Maxfield of Milton.
Charlotte Rep. Michael Yantachka, a Democrat, has filed for re-election. He does not have a challenger so far. Yantachka has served in the House since 2011.
Hinesburg Rep. William J. Lippert Jr., also a Democrat, so far has one challenger, political newcomer and Republican Sarah Toscano of Hinesburg. Lippert is a House veteran having served since 1995.
As of 3 p.m. last Friday following the filing deadline for Democratic and Republican primary candidates, a total of 52 candidates had filed for 30 state Senate seats. There are a total of 199 candidates running for 150 House seats so far, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
The deadline for independent candidates to file is Aug. 9.
The Citizen staff contributed to this report.