- File: Colin Flanders ©️ Seven Days
- Charity Clark at a press conference in June announcing her candidacy
Charity Clark has won the Democratic primary for attorney general, handily defeating Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault in the race for Vermont's top law enforcement post.
The win brings Clark a step closer to making history as the first woman ever elected to be Vermont's AG. She will now move on to the general election, where she will be heavily favored to win. The only other major party candidates are H. Brooke Paige, a perennial Republican office-seeker, and Progressive Elijah Bergman, both of whom were unopposed on Tuesday.
The Associated Press named Clark the winner around 10 p.m., by which time she held a commanding 30-point lead — 58 percent to 27 percent — with 214 of 283 precincts reporting.
She said she was now looking forward to connecting with voters ahead of the general election, including those who supported Thibault.
The AG's race was one of four statewide to lack an incumbent. T.J. Donovan, a Democrat, announced in May that he would not seek a fourth-term and stepped down a month later to take a position with the online gaming platform Roblox. (Gov. Phil Scott appointed former secretary of administration Susanne Young last month to serve out the rest of Donovan's term).
Clark, who spent the last four years as Donovan's chief of staff, vowed to continue building on the office's work under its former leader. Thibault wanted to shake some things up. The sitting prosecutor called on the AG's office to take more criminal cases and said he would advocate for a stronger role in police oversight.
Clark entered August with a financial advantage. As of August 1, she had raised $115,000 — about $30,000 more than Thibault — and had about twice as much cash on hand. Filed reports show that she spent about $20,000 in the final month of the campaign on a mass media blitz, compared to Thibault's $12,000.