Gov. Phil Scott wins 3rd term

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 8:43 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 12:02 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Gov. Phil Scott has won a third term as Vermont governor, according to AP projections.

The Republican easily beat off a challenge from Progressive-Democrat candidate Lt. Governor David Zuckerman. Scott was winning by about a 40-point margin early in the night.

With more than 246,000 votes, Scott’s campaign manager says he surpassed the all time record for votes received in a Vermont gubernatorial election.

Scott was watching the results at home with a small number of his team. He released a video statement that said: “Today, Vermonters have spoken and I am humbled to earn your support once again, your faith and trust in me is the greatest honor of my life and I will continue to work every single day to make the lives of Vermonters better."

Zuckerman, a Hinesburg organic farmer and longtime legislator who gave up his lt. governor seat to run for the state’s top job, conceded the race around 9 p.m.

“Those individual stories that people come to me with, give me the energy to hold my head high today. To know that the actions that I’ve worked on, the issues that I’ve stood for have made a meaningful impact for people’s lives and that there will be more opportunities in the future. So, I hold my head high tonight and know that Vermonters have really come together for COVID and we live in an amazing place and I’m really glad to live here,” Zuckerman said.

Throughout the pandemic, the governor has enjoyed the power of incumbency, overseeing arguably one of the most effective COVID-19 responses in the country and even receiving compliments from his challenger on the state’s response. Since he was first elected in 2016, Scott has stuck closely to his affordability agenda of growing the economy while taking care of the most vulnerable Vermonters.

Despite a tide of opposition to President Trump in the liberal bastion of Vermont, Scott’s opposition to many of the president’s priorities and support of socially liberal policies like gun control, allowed him to earn support from ticket splitters who supported other Democrats on the ballot. Scott himself voted for Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Despite his popularity, Scott is likely to continue to face pushback from the Democratic majority in the Legislature over his opposition to raising the minimum wage and paid family leave. Many critics also say he has not done enough to tackle the state’s response to climate change.

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