Yesterday was the Vermont primary. It was my first time voting in my new town. The funny thing is that I was confused when I changed my voter registration to my new address (the confusion happened with the power company too). You see, my apartment complex sits at the junction of three towns. My address is one town, because my mailbox is on that side of the line. My apartment, however, is in another town. So, when I registered to vote here, I thought I was signing up for the town that is my address, but it turns out that I had to register for the town where my apartment actually sits, even though my mailbox is only about ten or twenty yards away from my apartment. Vermont is a strange little place. Half the people in my apartment complex vote in one town, and the other half vote in the other town. None of the apartments are in the third town, you drive through it while driving down the driveway of my apartment complex. It’s quite confusing. The way I initially found out that my physical address and my mailing address are in separate towns was when I called the electric company to set up that account. My physical and mailing address are different for them too.
Anyway, this was actually a pretty exciting primary for Vermont. With Patrick Leary’s retirement, his Senate seat is open, so our Representative Peter Welch is running for that seat. As I am writing this, 27 percent of the vote is reporting and Welch is winning with 86 percent of the vote. The AP has already declared him the winner, and he will likely win the general election, as well. This is Vermont after all, the home of Bernie Sanders. In the Republican primary, the front runner had been Christina Nolan, who is a lesbian. However, the hate group National Organization for Marriage, better known as NOM, came out against her solely because she is a lesbian. Gerald Malloy, a West Point graduate and businessman who has only lived in Vermont for two years, seems to have gotten a boost because of NOM and is leading the race with 43 percent to Nolan’s 37.5 percent. The other candidate has just over 19 percent of the vote.
The more interesting race is to fill Peter Welch’s soon to be vacant seat. Honestly, the Republicans in that race don’t matter. It’s the Democratic primary that everyone is watching. Three candidates are vying for the nomination. Becca Balint is a long-time Vermont legislator who is currently president pro tempore of the Vermont Senate. She is a former social studies teacher and the first lesbian to lead the senate. Her main rival is the current Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, whose only political experience is two years as lieutenant governor and working in the congressional offices of Welch and Leahy, who both endorsed her. Bernie endorsed Balint. The third candidate is Dr. Louis Meyers, whose main campaign issue is that Vermonters care about the issues not sending their first woman to Congress. It was not a winning strategy for Meyers, who at the time of writing this had 1.5 percent of the vote. The AP called the race for Balint, who with nearly 40 percent of the vote reporting had over 61 percent of the vote and over a thousand more votes than Gray.
There are also a number of other statewide races up for grabs. With Gray running for Congress, the lieutenant governor office is up for election. The two front runners there were David Zuckerman, the lieutenant governor before Gray who stepped down to run for governor and Kitty Toll who was endorsed by Howard Dean and has had the most television ads.. I personally don’t like Zuckerman, so I voted for Toll, but it appears that Zuckerman May win as he has 45 percent of the vote to Toll’s 38 percent with 43 percent reporting. The other recently vacant state offices were for attorney general and Secretary of State. Both candidates I voted for in these two races are trailing in the reported results.
I’m most happy about Balint’s win. The others were not very important for me. I think we need more good social studies teachers in Congress. The good ones who teach civics and government know what really goes on in politics. They also tend to know the history of the American political systems and the ups and downs of American History. We also need more LGBTQ politicians.