Incumbent Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott cruised to victory for a third term in office. Scott defeated the Progressive and Democratic candidate Dean Corren by more than a 25 percent margin.
Scott says the key message from the election is that lawmakers understand that the state faces “an affordability” crisis.
The contest showed big differences between Scott and Corren on many key issues.
Corren is a big supporter of single-payer health care. Scott says he’s a skeptic. Corren wants more people to pay their school property taxes based on their income, while Scott called for measures to control spending.
Tuesday night, Scott said that he thinks his victory is a clear sign that Vermonters need some relief from increasing tax burdens.
“What I sensed was a crisis of affordability, and property taxes is a major component of that, but it’s not just property taxes,” said Scott. “And it’s not just the formula we need to change. We need to reduce the amount we’re spending if we’re not going to bring more revenue in.”
Scott says it’s also imperative that lawmakers take concrete steps to strengthen the state economy.
“And I feel as though we have to pay attention to the economy,” said Scott. “We have to take measures to try and help businesses that are here because the more they thrive the more we thrive as a state.”
For Corren, the contest was an effort to re-enter politics after serving in the Legislature more than 15 years ago. Corren told his supporters that the race highlighted a number of important issues. He says he’s optimistic about the future of health care reform.
“And my final thank-you is to the voters who got out there and made our democracy work,” said Corren. “Voting isn’t everything but it is the first thing and I end up this arduous campaign even more optimistic than I began - that we are a progressive , small 'p,' state.”
Based on unofficial returns from last night, it appears that Scott will preside over a Senate where the Republicans picked up two seats. With victories in Franklin and Rutland counties, the GOP will now have nine members in the Senate.