Chittenden senators all returning to Montpelier: Six incumbents top seven challengers

Courtesy photo
The Chittenden state Senate delegation announced in May that they would all seek re-election. They issued a joint statement and said they were running “as a slate” in a show of legislative unity. On Tuesday, all six won re-election. Pictured left to right: Michael Sirotkin, Ginny Lyons, Debbie Ingram, Phil Baruth, Chris Pearson, Tim Ashe.

By LISA SCAGLIOTTI

The ballot was crowded for Chittenden County senate candidates, but voters across the state’s most populous region managed to zero in on the six incumbents and vote to send them all back to Montpelier in January.

Thirteen names filled out the list with just about every party affiliation in the mix.

In the end though, voters chose to re-elect

• Burlington Democrat/Progressives Tim Ashe, the Senate President Pro Tempore, and Philip Baruth. They won their sixth and fifth terms, respectively.

• Burlington Progressive/Democrat Chris Pearson won his second Senate term; he previously served four terms in the House.

• Williston Democrats Debbie Ingram, to her second term, and Senate veteran Virginia “Ginny” Lyons, who starts her 10th term in January.

• Michael Sirotkin of South Burlington for a third Senate term.

With such a crowded field, it was difficult for candidates’ vote percentages to hit double-digits.

With 23 of the district’s 24 voting districts reporting results to the Secretary of State’s office, here’s how the returns shaped up early Wednesday morning:

Ashe, whose leadership position makes him one of the best-known senators in the state, cracked 11 percent; Lyons, the most senior of the district’s senators, landed 10.5 percent; Ingram tallied just under 10.3 percent. Sirotkin and Baruth won between 9 and 10 percent of the vote; Pearson hung onto the sixth seat with just over 7.9 percent.

The next-closest challenger was Alex Farrell of South Burlington, one of three Republicans on the ballot, with just over 4.9 percent of the vote. Other GOP candidates Paul Dame of Essex and Dana Maxfield of Milton won 4.4 and 4.1 percent of the vote respectively. Dame was the only challenger who had legislative experience having previously served in the House.

Dr. Louis Meyers, an independent from South Burlington captured only 2.2 percent. Libertarian candidates Seth Cournoyer of South Burlington and Loyal Ploof of Burlington registered 1.4 and 1.2 percent apiece.

With just barely over 1 percent of the vote, Joshua Knox of Essex running on the Fair Representation label rounded out the list.

The Chittenden Senate district is comprised of most of Chittenden County towns with the exception of Colchester, Huntington, and Buels Gore, which are included in adjacent Grand Isle and Addison Senate districts.

Other Chittenden races

It was an early night Tuesday for Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George and Sheriff Kevin McLaughlin, both Democrats ran unopposed for re-election.

Two judicial races had competition on the ballot:

• Assistant Judge: This race had voters choose two assistant or “side” judges and it resulted in an upset. Challenger Suzanne Brown, a Democrat, unseated incumbent Assistant Judge Charles Delaney, who ran on the Progressive and Republican tickets. Brown was the top vote-getter with 30 percent; incumbent Assistant Judge Connie Cain Ramsey, a Democrat, won just over 24 percent; Delaney finished in third place with just 12 percent of the vote. Progressive Zachary York landed in last place with just over 7 percent of the vote.

Assistant judges work in the county’s civil court which seats a panel of three judges who confer to decide non-jury cases. 

• Probate Judge: With 62 percent of the vote, incumbent Judge Gregory J. Glennon, a Democrat, easily topped Republican challenger William “Bill” Norful who tallied just under 30 percent. Probate handles adoptions, birth, death, and marriage records, emancipation, guardianships, estates, trusts, and wills.

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