The final returns aren’t all in yet — please, Legislature, can we require town clerks to report their returns to the Secretary of State on Election Night? Pretty please? — but it looks like the Dems will hold on to their 22-8 majority in the state Senate, although there are at least three races still hanging.
The Elections Division only has 75% of all precincts — c’mon, Legislature, this is ridiculous! — as of 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday. But here’s how things look in the truly contested races.
Caledonia County: Two seats up for grabs. 20 of 23 precincts in. Will be a Dem/Repub split, with Dem incumbent Jane Kitchel and Repub incumbent Joe Benning re-elected. Former Douglas Administration functionary David Dill, one of the Republicans’ hopes to pick up a seat, is finishing a distant third, and barely outpolling Democrat Stephen Amos.
Chittenden County dogpile: Six seats. Only 16 of 29 precincts in, but the results have held very steady so far. The top six, in order: Ginny Lyons (D), Tim Ashe (D/P), Diane Snelling (R), Sally Fox (D), David Zuckerman (P/D), and Phil Baruth (D). Phil has 10.48% while Debbie Ingram (D) is in seventh place with 8.01%, so barring a huge Ingram vote in the unreported precincts, the incumbents all win and Zuckerman joins the Senate.
After the jump: Up in the air in Essex-Orleans and Franklin.
Essex-Orleans: Two seats up for grabs, and this one’s a nail-biter. 28 of 36 precincts in.
Buddy Bobby Starr (D) is first with 6,182 votes. Right now, John Rodgers (D) is holding onto second place with 5,510. Robert Lewis (R) has 5,442. The other Republican, Jay Dudley, is a distant fourth. If the results hold, Rodgers would take Vince Illuzzi’s seat — but right now he only leads by 68 votes.
Franklin County: The two Republican candidates hold narrow leads with 12 of 15 precincts in. Norm McAllister 7,062; Dustin Degree 6,827; Don Collins 6,727; and Caroline Bright 6,460. A late comeback by Collins is still very possible.
Washington County: The three incumbents are winning fairly easily with 14 of 20 precincts in. Bill Doyle (R) 12,426; Ann Cummings (D) 11,051; Anthony Pollina (I) 9,508. Republican Buddy Barnett rode his Vermonter First mailers to fourth place with 7,116.
Windsor County: The Vermonter First effort fizzled here too. Dick Tracy didn’t have nearly enough ammo, and the three Democrats won easily.
Overall, the Dem/Prog majority will, at worst, lose one of its 22 seats, and might still finish with 23. Yet another terrible result for the VTGOP and Vermonter First. And with Zuckerman’s almost certain election, you can add one more to the ranks of the Prog-friendly group in the Senate.