MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Election 2018 is in the books. We know who won but how will they work together?
Republican Gov. Phil Scott gets a second term. It was a convincing win in a blue state-- 55 percent to 40 percent. Thirteen out of 14 counties picked him over Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist.
Staying true to history, Vermonters split their tickets, sending more Democrats to the Legislature. They increased their majority in the state Senate slightly. And they picked up 15 seats in the House for a total of 95. When you factor in the seven Progressives, it gives the left a supermajority-- enough votes to easily override the governor's vetoes.
At about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Governor Scott took the stage at Republican headquarters. At the same time, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson spoke at the podium at the Democratic headquarters. Both claimed victory.
"We want our kids to get a good education, learn a trade, get a job, buy a house and retire right here in Vermont," Scott said. "This is the challenge we face together and tonight I humbly accept this challenge once again."
"Tonight is a really good night to be a Democrat," Johnson said to cheers. "Tonight, voters across Vermont are sending a really clear message that we need a state that works for everyone."
Two parties celebrating key victories but how will that play out when lawmakers return to Montpelier?
The Republican governor and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate had trouble finding common ground the past two years, with Scott vetoing the state budget three times and rejecting a minimum wage boost and a paid family leave program. But the next two years will be different.
"I think we'll both have to change our approach because Vermonters expect better," Scott said.
The GOP has lost a net of 10 seats, bringing them down to just 43. Right now, the Democrats will hold 93 seats, and with seven Progressives, they have the potential to overcome the governor's veto pen. The governor says he's hoping for some bipartisanship.
"Well, I've always served in the minority throughout my whole political life, so this will be no different and we'll find ways to get along because Vermonters are expecting us to get things done," Scott said.
The Democratic speaker is also speaking about bipartisanship.
"Vermonters are comfortable with divided government," Johnson said. "They want us to be able to work together. So I'm hoping that we can all come together between the House, Senate and governor early on and work together to solve some of these issues of strengthening families, strengthening communities and building a strong future for the state."
But with more firepower in the House, House Speaker Johnson and her caucus are likely to try again, sending bills to the governor that raise the minimum wage and create a paid family leave program.
"I think there is a lot of interest in paid family leave and a $15 minimum wage. We heard a lot of support for it on the campaign trail across the state of Vermont," Johnson said.
The governor is promising he'll trying working with Democrats.
"I'll continue to work that way and I'm hoping-- I'll reach across the aisle. I've done it throughout my entire life and we'll do it again," he said.
So, either they do find consensus or the Democrats could force through their agenda.
Some notable Republicans who lost their seats include Kurt Wright of Burlington, Fred Baser from Bristol, Brian Keefe of Manchester and David Ainsworth from South Royalton.