Douglas defeats Clavelle for second term as governor

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(Host) Incumbent Republican governor Jim Douglas won a second term in office last night with a significant victory over his Democratic opponent Peter Clavelle. Douglas’s margin of victory was roughly 20 percent.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) Douglas maintained throughout the campaign that he was convinced that Vermont voters were going to split their tickets for a number of key races in the state and last night’s results indicate that Douglas was right. There were a number of towns that strongly supported both Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and Republican governor Jim Douglas.

Douglas told his supporters at the GOP victory party in Montpelier that he thinks his strong margin of victory is a clear mandate for his moderate approach to key issues facing the state:

(Douglas) “I’ve received support from not only Republicans but Democrats and independents who share my vision for a more prosperous future for this great state. It’s that bipartisan, mainstream leadership that has captured the support of people across Vermont and to whom I am committed to serving during the next two years. So I believe that Vermonters appreciate the hard work we’ve done during the last two years and look forward to leadership during the next two years as well.” (Sound of crowd applause.)

(Kinzel) Democratic Peter Clavelle, who conceded the race before ten o’clock, told his supporters that he believes important issues were raised in the gubernatorial race this year:

(Clavelle) “We ran a very spirited campaign, we ran a very principled campaign. We’ve raised issues that others have ignored. At the forefront of the issues of the state – and I think we in this room can take some credit for this – is health care, affordable health care for all Vermonters at a price they can afford! Livable wages, jobs for Vermonters that pay decent wages! Sensible energy policy!” (Sound of crowd cheering.)

(Kinzel) Douglas says enacting health care reforms during the 2005 Legislative session will be one of his top priorities and he says he’s optimistic that progress will be made on this issue because it was top concern for many legislative candidates.

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

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