Trisha Shetty

Vermont gubernatorial election, 2016

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November 8, 2016  2018 →
Location  Vermont, United States
Party  Republican
Date  8 November 2016
Popular vote  166,817
Percentage  52.0%
Vermont gubernatorial election, 2016 httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Winner  Phil Scott

The 2016 Vermont gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 2016 and elected the Governor of Vermont, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.


Incumbent Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin had decided not to run for re-election to a fourth term in office.

The primaries were held on August 9. Former Vermont Department of Transportation Secretary Sue Minter won the Democratic nomination, and Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott won the Republican primary. Republican Phil Scott defeated Democrat Sue Minter.


Two-term Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin ran for re-election in 2014 and was widely expected to win easily. However, he only took a plurality of the vote, 46.36%, to Republican Scott Milne's 45.1%, and thus the result was decided by the Vermont General Assembly. The Assembly picked Shumlin by 110 votes to 69. Shumlin announced in June 2015 that he would not run for a fourth term.

Vermont and New Hampshire are the only states in the country whose governors are elected every two years.

Democratic primary

In August, Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith announced that he would be a candidate, but ended his candidacy in November 2015, after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. In September, Matt Dunne announced that he would also be a candidate. Also in September, former state legislator Sue Minter, then serving as Vermont's Secretary of Transportation, announced that she would resign her position in order to join the Democratic race. Former Ambassador Peter Galbraith announced his candidacy in March 2016.

In July, H. Brook Paige was excluded from official Democratic Party events after making derogatory comments on social media.

Minter won the nomination decisively, and was endorsed by Dunne but not Galbraith.


  • Matt Dunne, former State Senator, Google executive, and candidate for Governor in 2010
  • Cris Ericson, perennial candidate (also running for the U.S. Senate)
  • Peter W. Galbraith, former State Senator and former United States Ambassador to Croatia
  • Sue Minter, former Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation and former State Representative
  • H. Brooke Paige, former CEO of Remington News Service, candidate for Governor and Attorney General in 2014 and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2012 (also ran for Attorney General)
  • Withdrawn

  • Shap Smith, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives (running for Lieutenant Governor)
  • Declined

  • Tim Ashe, State Senator
  • James C. Condos, Secretary of State of Vermont and former State Senator (running for re-election)
  • T.J. Donovan, Chittenden County state's attorney and candidate for Vermont Attorney General in 2012 (running for Vermont Attorney General)
  • M. Jane Kitchel, State Senator
  • Deborah Markowitz, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, former Secretary of State of Vermont and candidate for Governor in 2010
  • Doug Racine, former Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services, former Lieutenant Governor, nominee for Governor in 2002 and candidate for Governor in 2010
  • Peter Shumlin, incumbent Governor
  • Miro Weinberger, Mayor of Burlington
  • Peter Welch, U.S. Representative and nominee for Governor in 1990
  • Republican primary

    In September 2015, Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott entered the race, and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Scott Milne, who had been considering running, endorsed Scott. In October 2015, retired Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman officially announced his "outsider" candidacy.

    Scott was endorsed by most active Vermont Republican politicians, and held a strong lead in a February poll. Lisman's campaign criticized Scott for being too closely connected to outgoing Democratic governor Peter Shumlin and for "plagiarizing" Lisman's ideas, and linked Scott to the "failures" of the Vermont Health Connect insurance platform and the school redistricting Act 46; the candidates' campaigns disagreed over whether this constituted "negative campaigning," and Scott's campaign said the attacks were "patently false".

    Scott won the nomination by a large margin.


  • Phil Scott, Lieutenant Governor
  • Bruce Lisman, retired Wall Street executive
  • Declined

  • Randy Brock, former State Senator, former Vermont Auditor of Accounts and nominee for Governor in 2012 (running for Lieutenant Governor)
  • Scott Milne, businessman and nominee for Governor in 2014 (running for U.S. Senate)
  • Endorsements

    On May 6, 2016, Scott received the endorsements of all Vermont Republican legislators (listed above) except State Representatives Donald Turner, Doug Gage, Mary Morrissey, Job Tate, and Paul Dame. Among those five legislators who did not endorse Scott, four said they always remain neutral in a party primary election, and one was waiting until after the filing deadline to make an endorsement.


  • Bill "Spaceman" Lee, Former Major League Baseball pitcher and Rhinoceros Party presidential candidate in 1988
  • References

    Vermont gubernatorial election, 2016 Wikipedia

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