What you need to know for Vermont’s 2022 primary election

Vermont Democrats, Republicans and Progressives are holding primary elections on Tuesday. Photo by Kevin O’Connor/VTDigger

Vermonters head to the polls on Tuesday for one of the most competitive primary elections in recent memory. Once the votes are counted, general election matchups will be staged for dozens of key races, including Vermont’s first open congressional seat in 16 years, four open statewide offices and a series of legislative contests.

The historic level of rotation is expected to reshape Vermont’s representation in January — and with Democrats heavily favored for multiple roles, many contests could actually be decided this week.

Here’s what you need to know.

Vote Tuesday

All U.S. citizens who turn 18 or older on November 8, 2022 will be able to vote in the primary.

You must be registered to vote in Vermont, but you can still register at your polling place on Tuesday.

Visit the Office of the Secretary of State’s My Voter page to check your registration status and find your polling place. Polling stations open at various times from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

On Friday, nearly 40,000 Vermonters had already voted using advance ballots or mail-in ballots. If you requested an early or absentee ballot but haven’t yet returned it to your clerk, bring it to your polling place on Tuesday.

Vermont has an open primary. You can choose to fill out a Democratic, Republican, or Progressive ballot, but you must only choose one.

Learn more about how to vote in our 2022 Election Guide.

Congress reshuffle

Vermont remains the last US state to never send a woman to Congress. That should change next year.

Molly Gray, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Becca Balint, acting president of the Vermont Senate, have emerged as frontrunners in the Democratic primary for Vermont’s only seat in the U.S. House. They also face South Burlington doctor Louis Meyers.

  • Gray touted his Vermont roots and experience working in Washington, D.C., as preparation to represent the state. She has also won support from key politicians, including former governors. Madeleine Kunin and Howard Dean, as well as U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
  • Balint drew on her reputation as a consensus builder in the Vermont Legislature, as well as her more progressive positions, in her address to voters. Among others, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., backed her throughout the final weeks of the campaign.
  • Meyers has targeted more moderate voters, offering a focus on health policy and often aligning himself with positions of the Biden administration.
  • Sianay Chase Clifford, a social worker and former congresswoman, will be on the ballot even though she dropped out of the race late last month.

On the Republican ticket, accountant and conservative YouTuber Ericka Redic faces former GOP congressional candidate Anya Tynio, as well as Liam Madden, a Navy anti-war veteran who identifies as an independent.

The open seat is a ripple effect of Leahy’s announcement last fall that he would not seek a ninth term in the U.S. Senate. Longtime U.S. Representative Peter Welch, D-Vt., quickly announced his candidacy for Leahy’s seat, and now faces two challengers: Isaac Evans-Frantz, a progressive Democrat from Brattleboro who resisted the idea that Welch’s claim to the seat is lost. conclusion, and Niki Thran, an emergency physician from Warren.

The U.S. Senate Republican Primary pits a former federal prosecutor against two newcomers. Christina Nolan, who served as Vermont’s U.S. attorney under President Trump, entered the race in February and was widely seen as the frontrunner. But a recent poll indicated strong support for the more conservative Gerald Malloy, a US Army veteran from Weathersfield. They also go up against Myers Mermel, a commercial property banker from Manchester.

Statewide races

Of the six statewide office holders in Vermont, four are leaving their seats this term – or have already done so – and competition is fierce for three of those positions.

  • Four Democrats are competing in the primary to replace Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray. Most point to their years of experience at the Statehouse: David Zuckerman was both a lawmaker and former LG, Kitty Toll chaired the powerful House budget drafting committee, and Rep. Charlie Kimbell represented Woodstock during five years. Patricia Preston, who is executive director of the Vermont Council on World Affairs, says she offers voters “a fresh perspective.”
  • The Republican primary for lieutenant governor, according to one candidate, offers a referendum on the future of Vermont’s GOP. Joe Benning, a vocal Trump critic and 12-year veteran of the Vermont Senate representing Caledonia County, faces Gregory Thayer, a former Rutland City GOP chairman who aligned himself with Trump and attended the Stop rally. the Steal in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.
  • Three Democrats are vying to become Vermont’s next secretary of state following the retirement of longtime incumbent Jim Condos. Condos endorsed his deputy, Chris Winters, for the role. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, a veteran legislator who chairs the House Government Operations Committee, and John Odum, the Montpelier town clerk, hope to overcome the incumbent’s influence.
  • Two Democrats are vying to become Vermont’s next attorney general after TJ Donovan left office in June and Susanne Young was nominated to finish her term. Charity Clark, Donovan’s former chief of staff, said she plans to focus on managing and leading the office of about 150 people. Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault talks about his prosecution time in the courtroom and conducting criminal investigations.

Mike Pieciak, the former commissioner of Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation, is running unopposed for the position of state treasurer as incumbent Beth Pearce prepares to step down due to health issues.

Tuesday’s results will also determine the general election game for this year’s gubernatorial race. Political lawyer Brenda Siegel is the presumptive Democratic nominee, while incumbent Phil Scott – who was twice re-elected by wide margins – faces Stephen Bellows and Peter Duval in the Republican primary.

See VTDigger’s guide for contestants in statewide races.

Legislative competitions

About a third of Vermont lawmakers are not running for office this year, opening up seats across the state. Coupled with the effects of the decade-long redistribution process, battleground districts are already emerging for the general election, in which Democrats aim to secure a veto-proof supermajority in both houses and Republicans hope to win seats in new regions.

The turnover is most evident in the Senate of 30 member states, where at least 10 lawmakers will not return. Competitive primaries include three in Chittenden County, where a six-member mega-district was split into three new districts this year.

  • In the district of Chittenden North, Irene Wrenner and Brian Shelden, two Essex Democrats who are often at odds, will face off against Representative Leland Morgan, the presumptive Republican nominee, in November.
  • In the Chittenden Central District, which includes North Burlington, five Democrats — Dawn Ellis, Martine Gulick, Erhard Mahnke, Phil Baruth and Tanya Vyhovsky — are vying for three seats. Only one is incumbent and the district is a key battleground for progressives to hold on to power.
  • In the Chittenden Southeast District, five Democrats – incumbent Senators Thomas Chittenden of South Burlington, Ginny Lyons of Williston and Kesha Ram Hinsdale of Shelburne, as well as Steve May and Lewis Mudge – are vying for three spots on the general election ballot .
  • The district of Windham will see competitive primaries on both the Democratic and Republican sides. Three Democrats – Wichie Artu, Wendy Harrison and Nader Hashim – are running for their party’s two nominations, while three Republicans – Mark Coester, Richard Kenyon and Richard Morton – are running for theirs.
  • In Washington County, the retirement of longtime Progressive/Democrat incumbent Anthony Pollina led to a competitive Democratic primary for the district’s three seats. The senses. Ann Cummings and Andrew Perchlik take on Anne Watson, Jared Duval and Jeremy Hansen.

Find out who is running for Accommodation and Senate in your neighborhood using our address finder.

In another closely watched race, Chittenden County’s embattled state attorney Sarah George faces the toughest political challenge of her career in this year’s Democratic primary. George, who has earned a reputation as a criminal justice reformer, faces Ted Kenney, a Williston lawyer and selection committee member who won the backing of law enforcement after criticizing many of the government’s policies. incumbent.

Visit VTDigger’s 2022 Election Guide to learn more about the candidates. And head to vtdigger.org at the close of the polls at 7 p.m. Tuesday for live coverage of the results.

Did you miss the latest scoop? Sign up for the final reading for an overview of today’s news from the Legislative Assembly.

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