MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The races for governor and the U.S. House top the ballot in Vermont, where voting concludes Tuesday on Election Day.
Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, are both seeking Vermont's three electoral votes. In addition to the two major party candidates, there are 19 third-party presidential candidates.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott, the incumbent, is seeking his third two-year term leading Vermont.
The only statewide Republican office holder in the deeply blue state, Scott, a former construction executive from Berlin, is popular and has been given high marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Vermont has consistently had among the lowest rates of transmission.
Scott, a frequent and rare GOP critic of Trump, has consistently called for civility in politics. Scott continues to lead Vermont by working, as he calls it, to make the state more affordable by promoting economic growth and not raising taxes or fees while protecting the most state's most vulnerable.
Scott, 61, is being challenged by Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who is running as a Democrat but throughout his political career has also worked with and represented Vermont's Progressive Party.
Zuckerman, a 48-year-old Hinesburg farmer, campaigned on promises to do more to advance progressive causes, saying wealthy people should pay more in taxes, Vermont should do more to combat climate change and he would work to expand access to health care in the state.
Democrat Peter Welch is seeking reelection to the seat in the U.S. House that he first won in 2006.
During his years in the House, Welch, 73, has consistently been one of Vermont’s top statewide vote-getters. Welch says he feels his popularity has been due to his continued focus on the state’s needs. He says the country is facing the “extraordinary challenges” of the coronavirus pandemic and what Welch has described as Trump’s threat to democracy.
Welch is being challenged this year by Republican Miriam Berry, a registered nurse from Essex, who is making her first run for elected office. Berry described herself as a conservative who opposes current proposals for universal health care and is for civil rights and cutting waste from the budget. She said it was time for a change.
Voters will also be casting ballots Tuesday for the state’s other statewide elected offices, including lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, secretary of state and auditor of accounts.
In local and regional races being decided Tuesday, Vermonters will elect all 150 members of the state House of Representatives and 30 members of the state Senate.