Tag Archive | "Vermont"

Shumlin Administration wants gas tax change

January 29, 2013

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January 28, 2013

Vermont

By Justin Haas

MONTPELIER, Vermont: Governor Peter Shumlin recently proposed a new $657 million transportation budget. However, the success of the budget relies on the legislative and executive branches to come to an agreement on how to raise an additional $36.5 million in revenue.[1]

A failure to raise the needed revenue would result in the loss of $123 million from the state’s transportation program. Secretary of Transportation Brian Searles told members of the House Transportation Committee, “Clearly it would be very painful, and it would not be good for the economy.”[1]

Searles’s starting proposal for raising the $36.5 million is as follows:[1]

  • The sale of transportation infrastructure bonds to raise $8.3 million – only usable for long-term projects
  • A 4% tax on the retail sales price of gasoline to raise $43.56 million
  • A 4.7 cent decrease in tax per gallon, which would reduce revenue by $15.32 million.
  • The adoption of a provision to adjust the tax per gallon in the future based on the consumer price index

The result would be a roughly 8 cent increase per gallon of gas for customers.[1]

Vermont governor once again makes education a priority

January 14, 2013

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January 14, 2013

Vermont

By Justin Haas

MONTPELIER, Vermont: Governor Peter Shumlin made education the focus of his State of the State address this year.[1]

Shumlin said that he wants more of an emphasis on math and science in schools. He also calls for making both algebra and geometry mandatory for receiving a high school degree. A figure from 2011 shows that only 47% of Vermont high schools require algebra and only 31% require geometry. In addition, standardized tests show that only 36% of 11th-graders are proficient in math.[1]

Among priorities mentioned was the need to address the achievement gap found with students of low-income families, and the need to make college affordable for everyone who wishes to attend.[1]

Shumlin also talked of the relevance of education to job opportunities, mentioning employers with good jobs being forced to go out of state due to a lack of suitable candidates in Vermont.[1]

Vermont Senate Democrats re-elect Campbell

November 30, 2012

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By Justin Haas

MONTPELIER Vermont Vermont’s Democratic caucus chose to stick with Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, re-electing him with a 15-6 vote over Ann Cummings. This is despite prior complaints about the way he ran the Senate during his last term.[1]

Campbell told senators that while his first term was rough, he would do better during the next legislative session. He said, “There were a lot of shortcomings in my first term. I wasn’t listening to everyone. I was listening to a small group of people.”[1]

Among Campbell’s supporters was one of his most vocal critics, Senator Philip Baruth, who was persuaded that Campbell would allow more issues to be heard next session.[1]

Ballotpedia’s 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Vermont State Legislature

October 29, 2012

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October 29, 2012

By Ballotpedia’s State legislative team

Vermont’s State Legislative Elections in 2012
Senate seats Contested senate seats House seats Contested house seats
30 28 (93.3%) 150 110 (73.3%)

MONTPELIER: Vermont: There are 180 total legislative seats with 2012 elections in Vermont, where all polls are open from 10am to 7pm. Most polls open earlier.[1]

The State Senate with 30 seats is currently under Democratic control, 20 to 8, with 2 seats belonging to the Vermont Progressive Party. 6 incumbents, split along party lines, are retiring from the Senate this year. The 150-seat House of Representatives is 94-47 in favor of the Democrats, with 5 Vermont Progressive Party members, 3 Independents, and 1 vacant seat. Of the 10 retiring incumbents, 9 are Democrats, 7 are Republicans, and 1 is from the Vermont Progressive Party. Neither chamber is in danger of changing hands this year.

Of the 149 incumbents up for election in 2012, 133 (89.2%) of them are running for re-election. A total of 138 of 180 (76.7%) districts will see more than one major party candidate in the general election.

Here are a few races to watch:

Senate

  • The Chittenden District, which accounts for 6 of the 30 seats in the chamber, has 14 candidates on the ballot. Voters can select up to six candidates per ballot, and the top six represent the district in the State Senate. An incumbent from this district has never lost to a challenger, but with so many options it is always a possibility.[2]

House

  • In the Rutland-Bennigan District, multi-term Incumbent John Malcolm (D) has drawn Independent challenger Estella Leach. Malcolm defeated Leach in 2004 to gain his seat.[3]
Vermont State Senate
Party As of October 2012 After the 2012 Election
Democratic Party 20 Pending
Republican Party 8 Pending
Vermont Progressive Party 2 Pending
Total 30 30
Vermont House of Representatives
Party As of October 2012 After the 2012 Election
Democratic Party 94 Pending
Republican Party 47 Pending
Vermont Progressive Party 5 Pending
Independent 3 Pending
Vacancy 1 Pending
Total 150 150

Ballotpedia’s 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Vermont State Executive Officials

October 29, 2012

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October 29, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Portal:State Executive Officials

MONTPELIER, Vermont: Six state executive positions are up for election in 2012 in the state of Vermont. The primary election took place on August 28, 2012.[1] The general election will be held on November 6, 2012.

It’s a full slate this year with the following positions on the ballot:

Vermont’s primary elections on August 28th sealed incumbent Democratic attorney general Bill Sorrell‘s nomination as well the general election candidates’ for governorlieutenant governorsecretary of statetreasurer and state auditor, also up for election in 2012. Excluding Sorrell and his primary challenger T.J. Donovan, who conceded the morning of the 29th after a hard-fought and extraordinarily close race,[2] every Republican, Democratic, and Progressive Party candidate seeking election to state executive office this year in Vermont skated through the primary round unopposed.[3]

Of these six positions, current auditor Thomas Salmon is the only incumbent not running for re-election in 2012.[4] Salmon said he can retire with satisfaction after having achieved all the goals he set for the office, and plans to move on to “new challenges.”[4]

In Vermont, all polls are open from 10am to 7pm. Most polls open earlier.[5] (See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012))

 

 Candidates for governor
See also: Vermont gubernatorial election, 2012
Democratic Party (United States) Peter Shumlin (D)
Republican Party Randy Brock (R)
Independent Emily Peyton (Independent)
Cris Ericson (United States Marijuana)
Dave Eagle (Liberty Union)

Three candidates filed for Governor of Vermont at the outset of the 2012 election season, incumbent Peter Shumlin(D), state Senator Randy Brock (R) and Martha Abbott (Vermont Progressive Party), and none faced a primary challenger.[1]

Martha Abbott, the Progressive Party nominee, who was nominally unopposed in the primary, dropped out of the race one week after the primary election. Her candidacy was a purely strategic maneuver to prevent another member of her party from winning, and she said she wanted to yield her party’s support to help Shumlin win re-election.[6]

Three third-party candidates - Emily Peyton (Independent) and Cris Ericson (United States Marijuana) and Dave Eagle (Liberty Union) – also made their way onto the ballot for governor this year.

Although Brock ran a hearty campaign, keeping pace with Shumlin in fundraising (and outspending him by over 400%) Shumlin’s support base has remained undaunted. The gubernatorial race is rated as Safe Democratic byGoverning Politics, The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.[7][8] If these projections and polls can be trusted to indicate this race’s outcome, all signs point to an easy re-election for the popular Democratic governor in 2012.[9][10]

Ballotpedia’s 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Vermont Congressional Seats

October 29, 2012

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October 29, 2012

By Ballotpedia’s Congressional team

Vermont’s Congressional Elections in 2012
U.S. Senate Election? U.S. House seats Possible competitive races?
Yes 1 0

MONTPELIER: Vermont: Vermont has one at-large U.S. House seat and one U.S. Senate seat on the ballot in 2012. For the at-large district, incumbent Peter Welch (D) is seeking re-election. He did not have any challenger in the primary, nor did his Republican competition Mark Donka. There are also three independent candidates seeking the House seat. Vermont, along with Wyoming, had the least competitive congressional primaries in 2012, with 0% of major party primaries having been contested (0 out of 2). The national average is 54.31%.

Currently, the Democratic Party holds both the Congressional seat and the two U.S. Senate seats (one, held by Bernie Sanders, is Independent but caucuses with Democrats).

In Vermont, the polling locations open at different times, from 5 AM to 10 AM but all polls close at 7 PM local time.[1]

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012)

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Bernie Sanders is running for re-election and was first elected to the office in 2006. Sanders is registered as an Independent candidate, and was unopposed in the primary election. Republican nominee John MacGovern defeated Brooke Paige in the primary to get the nomination. The primary was held on August 28, 2012. In addition to MacGovern, four Independent candidates are also running for the Senate seat. According to race ratings, Vermont’s U.S. Senate race is considered a solid Democratic seat. Sanders is expected to easily win re-election.

State General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
Vermont Class 1 Senate seat Democratic Party (United States) Bernie Sanders
Republican Party John MacGovern
Independent Cris Ericson
Independent Laurel LaFramboise
Independent Peter Moss
Independent Pete Diamondstone
Bernie Sanders Pending Pending

U.S. House

Welch is also expected to easily win re-election. In 2010 he won re-election by more than 30 percentage points. Here is a complete list of U.S. House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in Vermont:

U.S. Justice Department and Vermont reach agreement regarding absentee ballots

October 22, 2012

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October 22, 2012

Vermont

By Justin Haas

MONTPELIER, Vermont The U.S. Justice Department has settled a lawsuit with Vermont over the state’s delayed mailing of some absentee ballots, which was filed by the federal government.[1]

The U.S. Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act requires that those absentee ballots which are requested by voters be mailed out at least 45 days before an election.[1]

Due to a dispute over the Progressive Party’s gubernatorial primary results, the completion of the general election ballot was delayed until September 30. This caused at least 191 of the 894 absentee ballots to be mailed late.[1]

As a result of the lawsuit, voters whose ballots were sent late will have their receipt deadline extended by 10 days.[1]

Vermont gubernatorial candidates engage in spirited debate

October 19, 2012

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October 18, 2012

Vermont

By Justin Haas

MONTPELIER Vermont Vermont’s gubernatorial candidates Peter Shumlin and Randy Brock engaged in a feisty debate on Wednesday night, interrupting each other and challenging the other’s statements.[1]

The format for the debate began and ended with questions posed by a panel, but the middle section allowed the two candidates to question each other. Democratic incumbent Shumlin used his questions to try to show Brock as someone who is out of touch with lower and middle-income families.[1]

Meanwhile former state senator Brock posed questions with the intent of raising ethics questions about the governor and his relation with his campaign contributors.[1]

The two candidates will meet for their final back-to-back debates on October 23 and 24.[1]

The Executive Summary: Primaries wrap up as the chosen few charge ahead to the general election

September 20, 2012

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Edited by Greg Janetka

With the general election less than two months away, we are proud to present to you the eight edition of The Executive Summary! What better way to keep up to date with all the recent happenings in state executive offices across the nation?

Today we start off in the Northeast region of the country, highlighting recent primary results from Delaware and New Hampshire, along with an elections update out of Vermont. From there we’ll go south all the way to the Sunshine State for a look at the Secretary of Environmental Protection who is currently under fire, and an introduction to the new interim Commissioner of Education.

Finally, we’ll bring the whole country into view with our continuing series on state executive positions, this time featuring a spotlight on Auditors.

Elections

 Elections and filings

This year, 22 states are holding regularly-scheduled state executive official elections. In those elections, a total of 37 state executive seats and 57 down ballot seats are up for election. Wisconsin also held two special recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch on June 5, 2012.

  • 21 states have already held primary elections.
  • Louisiana will hold its primary election for statewide races on November 6, 2012, when all other states hold their general election.
  • As of September 6th, candidate filing periods have closed in all 22 states.
  • Since the last edition, two states held primary elections: Delaware and New Hampshire.

 Delaware

See also: Delaware state executive official elections, 2012
Delaware

In Delaware three state executive offices are up for election in 2012: governor, lieutenant governor, and insurance commissioner. In the race for governor and lieutenant governor, a single candidate from each party ran unopposed in the September 11th primary, automatically advancing them to the general election where they will face off for the state executive positions. Incumbent Jack Markell (D) will face challenger Jeff Cragg (R) in the gubernatorial election. In the race for lieutenant governor, incumbent Matthew Denn (D) will face Republican challenger Sher Valenzuela in November.

In the race for insurance commissioner, four Democratic candidates, made up of one incumbent and three challengers, all battled for the nomination. Incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart defeated challengers Mitch Crane, Paul Gallagher, and Dennis Spivack in the Democratic primary.[1] While candidate Mitch Crane looked to be the front-runner coming into the primary, Stewart managed to beat out Crane for the nomination.

As the final votes were being counted, Stewart said, “I feel good. I had expected it – I worked really hard for the people of Delaware. They know I worked hard for them, and they voted me back in.”[2] Stewart will advance to the general election, where she said if re-elected, she will continue to advocate for consumers. “The consumer always comes first,” she said. “Everything we look at revolves around the consumer in Delaware, whether it’s a small business, large business or an individual. We’re going to keep that our focus.”[2]

On the Republican ticket a single candidate, Benjamin Mobley, ran unopposed, automatically advancing to the general election to face incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart. Stewart and Mobley will also face Libertarian Party candidate David R. Eisenhour in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Below is complete list of candidates who will advance to the general election:

Governor

Lieutenant Governor

Insurance Commmissioner

 New Hampshire

See also: New Hampshire state executive official elections, 2012
New Hampshire

New Hampshire voters had a single state executive office, governor, on the September 11th primary ballot in 2012. Voters in the state narrowed down the race of three Democratic candidates and three Republican gubernatorial candidates to each party’s nominee. In September 2011, incumbent governor John Lynch announced he would not seek another term in office. He explained although “for me, being governor of the State of New Hampshire is the best job in the world [and] serving in this role is the highest privilege of my life, democracy demands periodic change. To refresh and revive itself, democracy needs new leaders and new ideas.”[4]

Six candidates were eager to take Lynch up on his call to “refresh and revive” the state of New Hampshire: three Republicans and three Democrats. Ovide Lamontagne (R) is making his second run for the state’s top office; he ran unsuccessfully in 1996 but is now the best known of the candidates and has a slight lead over all of the Democratic candidates in polling. Two former state Senators ran for the Democratic nomination, though neither Maggie Hassan nor Jackie Cilley were well known among New Hampshire voters who have, in the context of this election, been dubbed “an unengaged electorate.”[5]

On the Democratic ticket, former state senators Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan, along with candidate Bill Kennedy, all ran for the nomination. In the end, Hassan emerged as the winner of the nomination.[6]

In the Republican primary, Ovide Lamontagne, former state representative Kevin Smith, and Robert Tarr all ran for the nomination. Lamontagne was favored to win the primary and did so, beating out Smith and Robert Tarr for the nomation.[7]

Lamontagne and Hassan will also face Libertarian candidate John J. Babiarz in the general election for governor on November 6, 2012.

Below is complete list of candidates who will advance to the general election:

Governor

 Vermont recount raises profile for party, potential for new primary date

Vermont

Three weeks of post-primary scrambling in the secretary of state’s office and Vermont voters can now size up a full spread of statewide candidate options for the November election. Apparent irregularities in the vote count and narrow victory for Progressive Party nominee for governor, Martha Abbott, over Vermonters for a Clean Environment executive write-in candidate, Annette Smith, were the reason for the delay. Initial counts following the August 28th primary separated Abbott, who has since bowed out of the race, from the write-ins by a margin sufficient to qualify for a recount, and on September 18th, Judge Robert Bent of the Washington Superior Court confirmed Abbott as the primary victor.[8]

Under Vermont law, a recount can be ordered on the conditions that the vote totals for two candidates in a given race fall within 2% of each other and that it can be conducted before the federal government’s deadline for states’ general election ballots to be printed and sent to military and overseas residents. Also under Vermont law, Abbott’s departure does not give Smith the nomination by default. As Abbott had designed, no Progressive candidate will be listed on the ballot for governor in the 2012 general election. Smith responded to the ruling by pledging to run in the general election as a write-in candidate. “If there’s a popular uprising out there, I’m going to give people a chance to express it,” she said, and added that she already accepted an invitation to participate in a televised debate with Republican nominee Randy Brock scheduled for October 11th.[9]

The recount was a productive exercise not only for the Progressives for bringing resolution and considerable attention to the race, but also for the secretary of state’s office, which oversees Vermont’s greater elections apparatus. Support for change to the state’s primary election calendar has been humming on low volume for some time. Election officials have grown increasingly wary of how the current timeframe correlates with, or causes, human error in vote tallies. The mad rush to complete the recount, which Smith was statutorily entitled to request within 10 days after the primary,[10] in time to meet the September 23rd deadline for sending general election ballots to military and overseas voters, raised renewed interest in a Spring primary.

Incidents of human counting errors were both enhanced and exposed by the exhausting, extended hours elections officials had to log to execute the recount, prompting secretary of state Jim Condos to express plans to push for the statewide office primary date to be changed to May or June in the next legislative session. An earlier date would also position the state-office primaries closer to Vermont’s presidential primary, which happens in March. A condensed primary season could make the system overall more effective and efficient.[11]

Mark your calendar
Date Event
September 25 Pennsylvania campaign finance reports are due
September 28 West Virginia campaign finance reports are due
September 30 Georgia campaign finance reports are due
October 1 Ballotpedia releases updated statewide projections report
October 6 Missouri post-primary candidate filing deadline

Controversies

Florida

 Florida Secretary of Environmental Protection under fire

Back in January 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) appointed Herschel Vinyard, who was a member of Scott’s Economic Development Transition Team, as Florida Secretary of Environmental Protection. Among his touted credentials for the position was Vinyard’s time spent handling government regulations as director of business operations at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. Vinyard’s employment history, and whether he can continue to serve in the position, however, soon came under fire as questions have circulated regarding whether he lied on his resume or not. The situation continues to develop, but in order to make sense of it one needs to go back to the beginning.

In February 2011, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Florida Clean Water Network filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleging Vinyard was in violation of a clause within the Clean Water Act that bars “the appointment of any state decision-maker on pollution discharge permits in federal quality water programs who has during the previous two years received a significant portion of his income directly or indirectly from permits holders or applicants of a permit.”[12]

According to the resume Vinyard submitted when applying for the position, he was director of business operations for a unit of BAE Systems in which he “counseled the company on major environmental permitting decisions.” Vinyard was also chairman of the Shipbuilders Council of America, a group representing over 100 companies in the industry.[13] When the EPA initially investigated the matter, the DEP general counsel said Vinyard only worked for BAE for two weeks and received little income from the company. However, on a questionnaire Vinyard submitted to the governor’s office, he listed BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards as his primary employer from 1999-2011. According to PEER, the BAE unit held permits for national pollutant discharge elimination systems during the two years prior to Vinyard’s appointment.

In September 2012, a letter from the DEP said Vinyard actually worked for the Classic Act company, which never held or applied for such permits. Jerry Phillips, director of the Florida chapter of PEER, pointed out the issue with this new twist, saying “His résumé doesn’t show any mention of Classic Act. They’re denying that [Vinyard] worked for BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards, a company that he swore under oath that he worked for. Neither the application or résumé show any mention of Classic Act. The letter he sent to the EPA does not include any proof of where he in fact worked.”[12]

 Appointments

 Florida Commissioner of Education

Florida

After serving in the position for a little over a year, Gerard Robinson unexpectedly resigned as Florida Commissioner of Education on July 31, 2012, and officially departed on August 31. Robinson, who previously served as Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction from January 2010 to June 2011, said it was too difficult “living far away from my family,” who remained in Virginia. The Florida Department of Education had faced harsh criticism during the months prior, most of which focused on the school-accountability system, which showed standardized test scores much lower than expected. In addition, on July 20 it was revealed that the DOE miscalculated some of the school grades for 40 of the state’s 67 school districts.[14]

The Florida Board of Education named Pam Stewart to replace Robinson as interim commissioner while they move ahead with the process to find a permanent replacement. Stewart, who had been serving as state Chancellor of Public Schools, assumed office on September 1.[15] Candidates have until September 27 to apply for the position.[16]

Featured office

TCSpotlight.png

Featured office: Auditor

Quick facts about Auditors
  • Auditor is a partisan position in all 24 states where it is publicly elected.
  • Appointed auditors serve as nonpartisan officials, with the exception of Connecticut, where Democrats and Republicans each have one nomination, resulting in two partisan auditors who share the office.
  • In 2010 the annual salaries for state auditors ranged from $54,305 (Arkansas) to $198,000 (Texas).

Auditor is a state level position in 48 states, selected either by appointment or by the people through standard election channels. The office is partisan in each of the 24 states where the auditor is publicly elected, plus one – Connecticut – where Republicans and Democrats each nominate someone to share the office. Among appointed auditors, it is common for a dedicated legislative committee to nominate an auditor, who is then confirmed by a simple majority vote of both legislative chambers. Many appointed auditors serve at the pleasure of the legislature or of the specific committee charged with audits. In these states, an auditor may be removed with either a simple majority or a three-fifths vote at any time.

The primary duties of the office is to supervise and administer the accounting and financial functions of the state. Additionally, auditors act as watchdogs over other state agencies, performing internal government audits and investigating fraud allegations. As indicated by the joint billing of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, an “organization for state officials who deal with the financial management of state government,” duties of State Auditors may collide and run together with those of other state level financial officials such as Treasurers and Comptrollers.[17] In states where two or all three offices exist, it can seem impossible to disentangle their individual roles and responsibilities. Rather than create a colossally complex venn diagram to illustrate the overlapping functions, let’s contradistinguish that there are eight states where the auditor, treasurer and comptroller coexist, two states where there is no person known as state auditor (New York and Tennessee, which both have a treasurer and comptroller) and two states (Alaska and Florida) without a state treasurer, and only one state where there is just one of the three – Florida. Before sighing with relief over finally landing on a state where all financial duties are concentrated and consolidated in a single office, consider that although Florida has neither a comptroller nor a treasurer, there’s a state-level, publicly elected Chief Financial Officer that shares its duties with the state auditor.

Adding to the puzzle, the state auditor belongs to either the Executive or the Legislative branch, depending on state. While the offices are similar in function, a legislative auditor functions primarily under the state legislature and is not considered a state executive office. About three-quarters of auditors state executive officials, and a total of 8 states have both auditor offices, including Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

If your face hasn’t turned purple yet from trying to process these figures, congratulations. You may have what it takes to be your state’s next auditor. Or treasurer.

Or, if you live in Florida and prefer a more unique title, state chief financial officer.

2012 elections review: State executive primaries in Vermont and Arizona set ballots for November

August 29, 2012

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August 29, 2012

By Ballotpedia’s state executive team

See also: Congressional and state legislative results

Phoenix, Arizona: There are three seats on the quasi-executive Arizona Corporation Commission up for election this year. All six candidates who filed for the office, including the full trio of incumbent commissioners, made it past the primary elections on August 28th and will advance to the general election on November 6th.[1] Below is a breakdown of the votes for the Democratic and Republican primary races. All results are unofficial until certified by the Arizona Secretary of State.

Arizona Corporation Commission-Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark.jpgSandra Kennedy Incumbent 36.4% 194,670
Green check mark.jpgPaul Newman Incumbent 32.8% 175,580
Green check mark.jpgMarcia Busching 30.3% 162,292
Write-in 0.5% 2,838
Total Votes 535,380
Election Results Via: The Arizona Secretary of State

 

Arizona Corporation Commission-Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark.jpgBob Stump Incumbent 34.9% 280,838
Green check mark.jpgRobert “Bob” Burns 31.7% 255,367
Green check mark.jpgSusan Bitter Smith 32.9% 264,545
Write-in 0.5% 3,887
Total Votes 804,637
Election Results Via: The Arizona Secretary of State

Vermont

See also: Congressional and state legislative results

MONTPELIER, VT: Yesterday’s primaries in Vermont sealed the nomination of Democratic incumbent attorney general Bill Sorrell as well the general election candidates forgovernorlieutenant governorsecretary of statetreasurer and state auditor, also up for election this year. Excluding Sorrell and challenger T.J. Donovan, who conceded Wednesday morning after a hard-fought and extraordinarily close race,[2] every Republican, Democratic, and Progressive Party candidate seeking election to state executive office this year in Vermont skated through the primary round unopposed.[3] Of these six positions, current auditor Thomas Salmon is the only incumbent not running for re-election in 2012.[4] Salmon said he can retire with satisfaction after having achieved all the goals he set for the office, and plans to move on to “new challenges.”[4]

Vermont Attorney General Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark.jpgBill Sorrell Incumbent 50.8% 21,102
T.J. Donovan 49.2% 20,408
Total Votes 41,510
Election Results Via: Vermont Secretary of State

Since there was only one contested primary, the fall fields were basically set when the candidate filing period closed in June, barring one critical point of uncertainty: Write-in candidates can play an influential role in Vermont elections, and neither the identity nor the general election presence of those sleepers can be determined conclusively until all primary results are tabulated and submitted for review by representatives of the Democratic, Republican and Progressive parties. The write-in candidate mystery is the subject of particular interest this election cycle. After receiving the Progressive Party’s nomination for governor in the spring, Party chairwoman Martha Abbott said she would yield her candidacy to incumbent Peter Shumlin in order to give government-financed health care system the best shot possible. Progressives responded by mounting a write-in campaign for the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, Annette Smith. Smith’s single-issue platform concerns mountaintop wind development, to which, in the opinion of like-minded Progressives, Shumlin is not sufficiently opposed. The statutory requirements for Smith’s write-in nomination are that she must receive more votes than an opponent whose name is already printed on the ballot, or else more than half the votes as the number of petition signatures needed to file for the office. For governor, that means 250 votes. [5] According to secretary of state Jim Condos (D), who is effectively unopposed for re-election in 2012, the details about write-in candidates such Smith will not be available for another week.[6] The exact general election match-ups cannot be known until those results are finalized, but here is a list of candidates already certified for advancement as of August 29th:[7]

 

Governor:

Democratic Party (United States) Peter Shumlin incumbent
Republican Party Randolph “Randy” Brock
Lime2.png Martha Abbott

Lt. Governor:

Democratic Party (United States) Cassandra Gakas
Republican Party Phillip Scott incumbent
Lime2.png Marjorie Power

Secretary of State:

Democratic Party (United States) Jim Condos incumbent

 

Attorney General:

Democratic Party (United States) Bill Sorrell[8] incumbent (updated August 29, 2012)
Republican Party Jack McMullen

Treasurer:

Democratic Party (United States) Beth Pearce incumbent
Republican Party Wendy Wilton
Lime2.png Don Schramm

Auditor:

Democratic Party (United States) Doug Hoffer
Republican Party Vincent Illuzzi