2022 Midterm Election Results
Vermont’s election season has concluded with many of the expected results across the state. With nearly 1/3 of Vermont’s House and Senate departed after the 2022 session, bringing many new faces to the statehouse come January. Statewide candidates, however, are all relatively well-known and again, the election on Tuesday turned out as anticipated.
Congressman Peter Welch will carry out his term in the House until the 2023 Congressional session begins; where he will move to the Senate and fill the vacancy left by retiring Senator Patrick Leahy. While we won’t know until early December which committees Senator-elect Welch will serve on, some anticipate that he will be assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
With the overwhelming primary support for Senator Becca Balint, she sailed to victory pretty early on Tuesday. She will carry out her service as Vermont Senator for Windham County until the end of 2022 and head to Washington, DC for a January 3rd start as Vermont’s first Congresswoman.
Governor Phil Scott continued to solidify his place as one of the country’s most popular governor on Tuesday after receiving a whopping 71% of the votes over challenger Brenda Siegle’s 24%.
Former Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman has reclaimed the #2 office in the state after a contentious primary against three Democrats and facing a harder challenge than he anticipated in the general election. Senate Minority Leader and moderate Republican Joe Benning came within 11 points of Zuckerman, higher than some may have anticipated.
Charity Clark, a former Assistant Attorney General-turned Attorney General Chief of Staff has won the race for Vermont’s next Attorney General. As retail crime increases and shoppers continue to advocate for their public safety, VRGA will be watching and working closely with the new Attorney General to ensure this office remains a backstop when State’s Attorneys dodge prosecution of criminals.
Secretary of State
Chairwoman of the House Government Operations Committee, Representative Sarah Copeland Hanzas, Former Commission of Financial Regulation and one of the Governor’s key figures in the COVID-19 response Mike Pieciak will serve as Vermont’s next Treasurer, replacing Beth Pearce after announcing she would step down due to health issues. And Auditor of Accounts for the past nine years, Doug Hoffer will remain at his post.
House and Senate
Democrats (including 5 Progressives) have solidified their super-majority power in the House bringing in 9 more seats for a total of 109 (104 Democrats, 5 Progressives). The count ensures a veto-proof majority, or the ability to override any bills vetoed by Governor Scott. The Senate saw no change in Democrats versus Republican, but we do anticipate the dynamic will be different with ten new Senators in place. Gone are the days where procedure outranks desire and ego and some newer Senators, and some yet-to-be-installed Senators, have already started jockeying for positions of power.
Vermont’s primary election isTuesday, August 9th, and this one carries more weight than normal. Two Congressional vacancies, multiple changes at the statewide level, and nearly 1/3 of Vermont’s House and Senate have many legislators and newcomers jockeying for either a different seat or a new place at the table.
Congressman Peter Welch will vacate his Congressional seat as he runs for the US Senate seat being vacated by Senator Leahy. Welch faces two relatively unknown candidates in the primary, leaving the long-time politician in a comfortable lead heading into August. Welch will most likely face former Vermont US Attorney, Christina Nolan in the general election in November.
Four Democrats and three Republicans face off on August 9th. All three Republicans, Liam Madden, Ericka Bundy Redic, and Anya Tynio are all new to the statewide race. Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint with 8 years under her belt, and Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, a relatively new face to Vermont politics, face two new challengers, Sianay Chase Clifford (who has since dropped out of the race) and Louis Meyers. We anticipate that the Democratic primary for US House between Balint and Gray will be a close one to watch, and with three relatively unknowns as the Republican challenger, the winner of the Democratic primary will head to DC in January.
While Governor Phil Scott faces two challengers in the August primary, the top jobholder in the state had a 72% approval rating based on a Morning Consult poll. We don’t anticipate a change in the Governor’s Office.
With sitting LG Molly Gray jumping into the race to replace Congressman Peter Welch’s, a four-way race among Democrats is heating up. Candidates include the former chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee Kitty Toll, former Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Representative Charlie Kimball, and political newcomer Patricia Preston are vying for the #2 seat in the state. We anticipate that Kitty Toll, a pro at balancing the books and working across the aisle and former LG David Zuckerman, who tried his hand at running for Governor in 2020 but lost by an overwhelming margin, will be the race to watch.
Two Republican candidates: Senate Minority Leader and moderate Republican Joe Benning, an attorney from Bennington County faces Greg Thayer, an accountant, Rutland Alderman, and a self-proclaimed Constitutional Conservative, face off August 9th as well.
This race will set up the winner in a comfortable position to run for Governor once Scott decides to bow out.
With Former TJ Donovan now out of politics - at least for now - two Democrats are vying for the state’s top prosecutor position. Now-former Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault, veteran and former Army officer will face Charity Clark, a former Assistant Attorney General-turned Attorney General Chief of Staff. This will be another race to watch. As retail crime increases and shoppers continue to advocate for their public safety, Vermont needs an Attorney General that will act as a backstop when State’s Attorneys dodge prosecution of criminals.
Secretary of State
Chairwoman of the House Government Operations Committee, Representative Sarah Copeland Hanzas, former Montpelier city clerk John Odum, and Assistant Secretary of State Chris Winters are vying for an open seat after Secretary of State Jim Condos announced he would not seek re-election. We anticipate that the current Assistant Secretary of State, with his endorsement from Condos and others in the Who’s Who of state politics will come out on top.
Other statewide races that do not face a primary are the Treasurer and Auditor. Former Commission of Financial Regulation and one of the Governor’s key figures in the COVID-19 response Mike Pieciak is the heir apparent to take over for State Treasurer Beth Pearce after announcing she would step down due to health issues. And Auditor of Accounts for the past nine years, Doug Hoffer faces off in November against two relatively unknown candidates.
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