Dubie wins majority in lieutenant governor’s race

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(Host) Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie has won a second term with a decisive victory in a three-way race. With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, Dubie had 56 percent of the vote, which will keep the race out of the Legislature.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) Brian Dubie campaigned on his record of working on economic and homeland security issues. An airline pilot, Dubie also said he served as Governor Jim Douglas’s second in command in running the state.

He emphasized that theme in his acceptance speech Tuesday night.

(Dubie) “The best things in life are done when we’re working together. We can disagree, but when we’re working together, that’s when we’re going to start to get some traction. And it’s been my privilege to be the governor’s co-pilot for the last 22 months. And because the people of the state of Vermont are overwhelming supported this candidacy, we’re going to keep being the governor’s co-pilot!”

(Dillon) Many political observers expected none of the candidates to top 50 percent, which would have sent the race to the Legislature. However, Dubie handily defeated Democrat Cheryl Rivers, a former state senator from Windsor County, and Progressive Steve Hingtgen of Burlington.

Both Rivers and Hingtgen campaigned hard on the issue of universal health care. At the Democrats election night party in Burlington, Rivers said the voters she met want health care reform. But she suggested it may take a while for the public to accept the sweeping universal coverage that she had advocated.

(Rivers) “It is an issue. I think that, you know Winston Churchill said you can count on the Yanks to do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all the other possibilities. And my sense is that you know we’re not ready, that people were not of one mind.”

(Dillon) Dubie outspent Rivers and Hingtgen in the race. The incumbent spent about $176,000 through late October, compared to $106,000 for Rivers. Hingtgen, who qualified for public financing, spent $85,000 in his race.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon in Burlington.

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