Joe Magee Wins Progressive Nomination for Ward 3 Special Election | Off Message

Joe Magee Wins Progressive Nomination for Ward 3 Special Election


  • Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • Joe Magee
Joe Magee clinched the Vermont Progressive Party's nomination Saturday evening for the upcoming Ward 3 city council election with just one vote more than his closest competitor.

A total of 169 Progs cast ballots in the ranked-choice election, which lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. The lowest vote-getter is eliminated in each round until one candidate surpasses 50 percent.

Magee squeaked out 50.3 percent, or 75 votes, after four rounds, narrowly defeating Julie Macuga, who had 49.7 percent of votes, or 74 total, according to the party's official results.

"I'm very grateful to the candidates that ran in the caucus, and I'm looking forward to building a strong campaign for working families in Ward 3," Magee said. "It's just really great that we had such an impressive turnout in the caucus, and it speaks to the strength of the party in Ward 3 and definitely a strong start going into the special election."

Magee will face Democrat-endorsed Owen Milne and Christopher-Aaron Felker, who won the Burlington GOP's nomination Friday night, in the August 17 special election. Independent candidates have until Monday to file petitions for the election, which was called when former Progressive councilor Brian Pine stepped down to take the helm of the city's Community & Economic Development Office last month.

“We’re excited to have such a strong candidate to represent our Progressive vision for a more just and sustainable community,” Prog party co-chair Annie Schneider said in a statement. “We are proud of the robust process we were able to put together on a tight timeline with a strong group of candidates. It is clear that Ward 3 voters value a Progressive vision for our community.”
The Progs, who have held Ward 3 for decades, had the most robust caucus with five total candidates. Chris Haessly, who nominated himself at the caucus last week, was eliminated in the first round with six votes, or 3.6 percent. Ryan Addario was eliminated in the second with 11 votes, or 6.6 percent. Milne was dropped in the third round with a total of 40 votes, or 24.1 percent.

Magee trailed Macuga in each round but closed the gap in Round 4, when he carried 17 votes from the previous round to pull off the win. Macuga, by contrast, earned just six new votes in the final round.

Magee, 26, grew up in Vermont's Mad River Valley and most recently worked for the Necrason Group, a lobbying firm. A self-described socialist, Magee previously worked on both of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) presidential campaigns and was Carina Driscoll's deputy campaign manager in her 2018 bid for mayor.

He currently serves as the vice-chair of Burlington's Board of Tax Appeals and lives on North Champlain Street in the Old North End.

Magee said he'll focus his campaign on advocating for a livable wage and affordable housing and childcare and wants to "bring new people into the process."

"I'm really looking forward to that," he said.

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