Vermont Gov. Phil Scott Coasts to Fourth Term | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott Coasts to Fourth Term


Published November 8, 2022 at 8:46 p.m.

Brenda Siegel and Gov. Phil Scott - FILE PHOTOS
  • File photos
  • Brenda Siegel and Gov. Phil Scott
Updated on November 9, 2022.

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott won a fourth term on Tuesday as he coasted to victory over Democratic challenger Brenda Siegel, according to unofficial results.

Meanwhile, Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor, treasurer, secretary of state, auditor and attorney general all prevailed in lopsided victories, underscoring the party’s dominance in statewide races — other than the governorship.

With all the districts reporting, Scott had earned 69 percent of the vote to about 23 percent for Siegel, who has never held public office. Scott's margin of victory  exceeded that of his 2020 win, when he drubbed then-lieutenant governor David Zuckerman by a final tally of 68 to 27.

Siegel, an advocate for the homeless and drug reform, attacked Scott's record on those and other issues, but never gained the traction needed to topple a governor who enjoys broad support.

Siegel said she was proud of her campaign. Regardless of the result, she said, by running she moved the needle on several key issues, including additional funding to help the homeless and money to help families with childcare.

“If people are so afraid of losing that we don’t even try, then we don’t get to move anything,” she said.
Lt. Gov.-elect David Zuckerman - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • Lt. Gov.-elect David Zuckerman
Zuckerman, who ran again for his former post as governor-in-waiting and president of the Senate, also rolled to victory Tuesday over Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia).

With all districts reporting, the Hinesburg farmer, shorn of his trademark ponytail, had earned 51 percent of the vote to Benning’s 41 percent. That was a comfortable margin, but a closer race than other statewide offices.

“We went out there and listened to people and talked about the big issues,” Zuckerman said from the Democratic election night party at Hula in Burlington.

Those issues, he said, included focusing on climate change, economic issues and the state’s acute housing shortage.

Returning to his former job is actually an exciting prospect, he said, because he expects strong showings by Democratic lawmakers to put them in a good position to advance issues he’s worked on for decades.
Treasurer-elect Mike Pieciak - JAMES BUCK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • James Buck ©️ Seven Days
  • Treasurer-elect Mike Pieciak
In other statewide races, Mike Pieciak, former commissioner of financial regulation, easily bested Republican H. Brooke Paige, earning 61 percent of the vote to Paige’s 34 percent. Pieciak said he was proud of the campaign he ran even though he didn’t have a primary opponent or a serious Republican contender. He nevertheless made it his goal to visit all 251 towns in Vermont. In doing so, he said he came to better understand the concerns facing residents.

“I really realized how valuable it was to see and talk to people in every part of the state,” he said.

State Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas (D-Bradford) easily won her race for Secretary of State, a contest that was largely decided during the primary when she beat out Deputy Secretary of State Chris Winters and Montpelier City Clerk John Odum for the Democratic nomination.

In unofficial results, Copeland Hanzas earned 60 percent of the vote in preliminary returns, with H. Brooke Paige earning 34 percent.

Auditor Doug Hoffer also easily won reelection over Republican Rick Morton, winning 60 percent of the vote to Morton's 34 percent.

And in the race for attorney general, Charity Clark, former chief of staff to former attorney general T.J. Donovan, sailed to victory over Republican Michael Tagliavia, a retired business owner from Corinth. The results were strikingly similar to the other state-wide races, with Clark earning 61 percent to 34 percent for Tagliavia.

With the win, Clark is the first woman elected to the AG post in Vermont history.
She said she was inspired as a young girl when Vermont's first female governor, Madeline Kunin, visited her town for Green Up Day.

“These almost 40 years later, Vermont is one of only a handful of states to have never elected a woman attorney general — until tonight!” Clark said to loud cheers at Hula.