In Rutland, Democrat Cheryl Hooker Wins Back Elusive Senate Seat

Nov 7, 2018

In Rutland, Democrat William Notte beat Republican Jacqueline “Beth” Fleck to take control of a Rutland City House seat previously held by Republican Doug Gage. 

Similarly, Rutland resident Cheryl Mazzariello Hooker wrangled another victory for the Democrats, this time by winning a hotly contested Senate seat.

Rutland resident Cheryl Hooker won a hotly contested seat on the state senate representing Rutland County. Hooker will serve alongside Republicans Brian Collamore and James McNeil.
Credit Nina Keck / VPR

This was big for Democrats. Republicans have controlled all three Rutland County Senate seats since 2014 and Hooker, who’s served before in both the House and Senate, admits this victory was hard won. “I think everybody is vested; all parties are vested now in having a voice, so it makes it harder when everybody knows they need to let their voice be heard,” she said.

“But it’s a good thing,” added Hooker. “It means democracy is alive and well in Vermont, even though it may be under attack in other places so, yahoo!” she said laughing, “I’m thrilled.”

Republican Brian Collamore, the lone incumbent, won the most votes in the Rutland County Senate race while Republican James McNeil, who’s previously served in the House, came in third.

Collamore says he’s thrilled to be heading back to Montpelier and believes he and McNeil’s minority party status will be vital there.

Republican Brian Collamore, the lone incumbant running for state senate in Rutland County, won the most votes in Tuesday's election. He's pictured here taking part in a student election fair last week at Barstow School in Chittenden.
Credit Nina Keck / VPR

“It is important to at least be able to say in a committee, ‘Hey wait a minute, let’s think about this a little bit. Is this good for what we want to do for the state?’ I think all legislation is better when you get both sides of the issue,” said Collamore, adding, “I think that’s our function. To question people.”

In other county races Republican Karl Anderson beat Andrew Costello for probate judge, Jean Coloutti beat David Lewis for assistant judge and Stephen Benard won the race for county sheriff.