Vermont Re-Elects Gov. Phil Scott, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch

What to Know

  • The governor's race and the U.S. Senate race are the key races in Vermont on Election Day.
  • Incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, beat Democrat Christine Hallquist in the gubernatorial.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch easily defeated their challengers, as well.

Voters in Vermont re-elected their governor, U.S. senator and U.S. representative Tuesday.

According to NBC News, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has warded off a challenge from Democrat Christine Hallquist, the first transgender gubernatorial nominee from a major party in U.S. history. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch also held onto their seats.

Hallquist campaigned on the issues of fighting climate change, raising the minimum wage and bringing more reliable internet access to Vermont's more rural areas.

Decision 2018: Live Election Results

Source: AP
Credit: Sam Hart/NBC

Scott, a Republican who was named the fourth most popular governor in the U.S., has worked across the aisle in his time in office. He signed a controversial new gun law in April. And last year, after President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement, Scott issued an executive order to create a climate change action commission.

"Despite what's going on in Washington, I am committed to doing our part," he said at the time.

Hallquist, who would have been the first transgender governor if elected, received death threats during the race. Scott has called for civility in politics, and before polls closed Tuesday, he expressed his appreciation for a clean race against Hallquist.

"I think we can both be proud of the campaigns we ran, and again — rose above negativity," Scott said. "Some of what we've seen across the country has been mean-spirited. And I think that [rising above] is the Vermont way."

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and ran for that party's nomination in the 2016 presidential election, will serve a third term after easily defeating Republican businessman Lawrence Zupan and seven other candidates.

Zupan, a Manchester real estate broker with experience in international trade, campaigned against what he felt was big government and social welfare programs. But his candidacy never gained traction and his campaign drew little attention.

Long one of Vermont's most popular politicians, Sanders spent little time campaigning ahead of Tuesday's election, instead traveling the country to support Democratic candidates and an array of policy issues. He has faced few serious opponents since he was first elected to the state's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990. He moved up to the Senate in 2006.

Welch, who replaced Sanders in the House, also won his race against Republican challenger Anya Tynio.

Republican H. Brooke Paige, who is running for secretary of state, initially won his party's nomination for the Senate and the House. He withdrew from five of the six races he won in the primary, leaving the state's Republican Party to name Zupan and Tynio as the nominees to battle Sanders and Welch, respectively.

A perennial candidate, Paige said he ran for so many nominations because he feared the Democratic incumbents would end up running unopposed in the general election.

All 180 seats in the Vermont Legislature were also on state ballots.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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