Vt. House Speaker Johnson calls for recount after losing Grand Isle-Chittenden race

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, D-South Hero, appears to have lost her seat in Tuesday’s election.

In what could be the upset of the night, unofficial results showed Rep. Leland Morgan, R-Milton, and his nephew, Michael Morgan, ahead in the two-seat Grand Isle-Chittenden race. Johnson was third, short by 18 votes. Democrat Andy Julow was running fourth.

Johnson declined to concede Tuesday and said she would seek a recount. “It’s not uncommon for Vermont House elections to be extremely close,” she said in a statement. “Over the years, we’ve seen tight races and recounts in this district. I want to ensure every vote is counted and that we have clarity on the outcome of this election.”

If the results hold true, it would be a major change in leadership at the Statehouse come January. Sen. Becca Balint, D-Windham County, is widely expected to be elected Senate President after departing Pro Tem Tim Ashe lost his primary bid in the lt. governor’s race. Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Robin Chesnut Tangerman, P-Middletown Springs, lost as well. Experts say the turnover could give Governor Scott a leg up in negotiations when lawmakers return to the virtual statehouse in January for the start of a new biennium.

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