Deb Bucknam

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Supreme Court hears appointment case, decision pending

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether outgoing Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin can appoint a replacement for one of its members, Justice John Dooley, before Shumlin leaves office on Thursday. The hearing Tuesday, held in a packed Supreme Court chamber filled with media, lawmakers, statewide elected officials and other observers, was triggered by a petition filed by Rep. Donald Turner and Sen. Joe Benning just before Christmas challenging Shumlin’s authority to name Dooley’s replacement. The justices made no indication Tuesday afternoon before ending the court session when it would issue a ruling. However, the court is expected to rule imminently in order to settle the matter before Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott is sworn into office on Thursday afternoon. Should the justices rule in Shumlin’s favor he could then name a replacement for Dooley on Wednesday when the new Senate is sworn in. Continue Reading →

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Donovan takes AG race

BURLINGTON — Democrat T.J. Donovan cruised to victory Tuesday over Republican Deb Bucknam and will become the state’s next attorney general in January. Donovan, 42, was easily outpacing Bucknam with 62 of 276 voting districts reporting results to the Associated Press. Donovan had a lead of 63 percent to 33 percent and Bucknam conceded the race shortly after 9 p.m.

Donovan will replace Attorney General Bill Sorrell, who chose not to seek re-election after he was first appointed to the position by former Democratic Gov. Howard Dean 19 years ago. Donovan said the race “was about the issues and we did it the Vermont way.”

“Thank you, Deb Bucknam,” he said. He noted his narrow loss to Sorrell in a Democratic primary four years ago, but said he and his supporters continued “to fight to level the playing field for all Vermonters” since then. Continue Reading →

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Minter, Zuckerman see fundraising boost from Sanders plea

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter continued to outpace Republican rival Phil Scott in fundraising during the critical period just ahead of Election Day, according to disclosure reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office Friday. While the outcome of the gubernatorial election remains in question, one thing abundantly clear is that the candidates and their allies had plenty of money to ensure their messages were received by voters. Minter reported Friday that her campaign raised $446,312 in the 20-day reporting period between Oct. 13 and Nov. 1. Continue Reading →

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VPR poll shows tied gubernatorial race

MONTPELIER — Republican Phil Scott and Democrat Sue Minter are locked in a tie race for governor with three weeks to go and 14 percent of voters undecided, according to a Vermont Public Radio poll conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute released Wednesday. According to the poll results, Scott, the incumbent lieutenant governor, has a 1 percentage point lead over Sue Minter, a former secretary of the Agency of Transportation — 39 percent to 38 percent. Liberty Union candidate Bill Lee, a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, received 2 percent support. But 14 percent of the likely voters polled said they have yet to make up their mind. The poll of 650 likely voters has a 3.8 percent margin of error and includes live interviews from a mix of cell and land line phones. Continue Reading →

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