Badamo wins Progressive gubernatorial primary

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(Host) Based on nearly complete campaign results, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says Michael Badamo has almost certainly won the Progressive gubernatorial nomination. Badamo easily defeated Peter Diamondstone, and a write in effort to block Badamo was not successful.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) Although the official election results will not be certified until next Monday, it’s virtually certain that the Progressive Party will have a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot this fall.

There were two candidates running in the Party’s primary for governor: Michael Badamo and Peter Diamondstone. But some Party leaders wanted to leave the office empty so that most of the Party’s resources could be directed to Anthony Pollina’s campaign for lieutenant governor.

To achieve that goal, they needed to mount an aggressive write-in campaign for a candidate who would then decline the Party’s nomination. But in the end, that didn’t happen.

Turnout in the Progressive primary was very light – just over 1,000 people voted in their election. Badamo received roughly 70% of the vote; Diamondstone about 30%; and there were several hundred write-in votes, but not enough to affect the outcome of the race.

Badamo says the results are very important:

(Badamo) “It’s pretty convincing that the Progressive Party is united and that the Party wants to have a gubernatorial candidate that can convincingly represent the Progressive point of view.”

(Kinzel) Badamo says he plans to wage an active campaign for governor:

(Badamo) “I’m going to be in debates and forums with the major candidates and I will present the Progressive case as effectively as I am able.”

(Kinzel) Overall turnout for the primary election was the lowest in many years. Although the turnout rate was less than 10%, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz thinks the democratic process is alive and well in Vermont:

(Markowitz) “Remember that the primary election, unlike the general election, does not measure voter apathy or voter interest. It’s a party exercise where the political parties are making decisions about who their nominees are. I expect a very strong turnout in the general election because we have some really important races and very motivated candidates will be getting out their voters.”

(Kinzel) Markowitz says she is very pleased that no voter access complaints have been received by her office for the primary election.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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