Rep. Lippert wins Hinesburg seat: Incumbent easily defeats challenger

By MADELINE HUGHES

With turnout reaching nearly 60 percent in Hinesburg, longtime incumbent state Rep. William Lippert handily won his 12th election to the Vermont House, edging out Republican challenger Sarah Toscano by more than an 2-1 margin.

According to election results from Town Clerk Melissa Ross, Hinesburg saw 59 percent of registered voters turn out to the polls on the cold and rainy November Election Day.

The House race result: Lippert 1,617 to Toscano’s 700 votes.

“It was very clear standing at the polls today people were turning out in person,” Lippert said. “It was an outpouring of democracy. People wanted to make their statements heard.”

The race for Hinesburg’s House seat began in the spring when Lippert voted for a series of gun safety bills. Toscano, a stalwart Second Amendment advocate who recently switched to the Republican party, decided to run against him. It was her first run for elective office.

“Having come out of the campaign I am very, very pleased to receive nearly 70 percent of the vote,” Lippert said. “I feel like I stood proud, affirmed in my record in the Legislature.”

Lippert has served in the House since 1994.

Toscano also said she was pleased by the turnout. Reached Tuesday night after results were tallied, she said, “I’ll definitely be back in two years for another go.

“It’s been a long road and I’ve done more in the past six months than I thought I could. I’m grateful for all of the people who have taken the time to engage me in conversation and for all of the new ideas and innovations that I’ve had the opportunity to discuss. Running for public office has been an eye-opening experience and most certainly an excellent education. I wish Mr. Lippert good fortune and hope that he will be a voice of the people of Hinesburg, representing our best interests.”

Now retired, Lippert spent his career working in the mental health field, nonprofits and as an advocate for LGBTQ rights and protections. As an openly gay legislator, Lippert was at the forefront of Vermont’s push for civil unions in 2000. He chairs the House Committee on Health Care.

“I’m energized and excited to return to serve the people of Hinesburg,” he said. “I look forward to reaching out to all people, taking the values I’ve put forward and continuing to work to build a safe and healthy community that protects civil liberties of all Vermonters.”

The legislative district covers nearly all of Hinesburg with the exception of just 24 registered voters who cast ballots in the Chittenden 4-1 district along with voters in Charlotte.

They are represented by Rep. Mike Yantachka of Charlotte who was unopposed for a fifth term. He received 1,908 votes in Charlotte and 17 votes in Hinesburg. Charlotte had 73 percent of its registered voters cast ballots in the election.

Just over 58 percent voted in the larger Chittenden 4-2 district, Ross said. In the Hinesburg sliver of the 4-1 district there was a whopping 79 percent turnout. Ross registered 49 new voters on Tuesday, she said. Also, traffic around Town Hall was impacted by voter turnout in the morning and evening, Police Chief Frank Koss said.

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