Midnight passes in Vermont without resolution for Democratic attorney general race
MONTPELIER, VT: Whatever has been implied by reports of incumbent Bill Sorrell's confident attitude or from witnesses of a mass exodus out of challenger T.J. Donovan's campaign headquarters, as of midnight Eastern Standard Time, survey says that the race is not over yet.
Sorrell and Donovan were locked in a dead heat from the time reports started piling in around 8pm until, with 95% of precincts reporting and a mere 600 votes separating the two Democratic attorney general candidates, everyone decided to turn in for the night. Although Sorrell ended the night with the advantage, Donovan scored crucial victories in Sorrell's home city of Burlington as well as Chittenden County, in which both candidates have a strong personal stake. Sorrell said he would not declare victory unless Donovan conceded; Donovan said that concession was not an option. If he meets the requisite 2% vote difference, Donovan may ask for a recount.
Six state executive offices are up for election in Vermont in 2012. Only the Democratic primary for attorney general was contested, but every race appeared on the primary ballot: Vermont's nonpartisan primary system allows all voters, regardless of party affiliation, to vote for a Republican, Democratic, or Progressive candidate, or a write-in, in each contest. According to Title 17 of the Vermont statutes, in order for a state executive write-in candidate to qualify for the general election, he or she must either receive more votes than an opponent whose name is already printed on the ballot, more than half the number of votes as the amount of petition signatures required for usual candidate filing. Unopposed Progressive gubernatorial nominee Martha Abbott pledged in June to drop out after the primary rather than oppose incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin in the general election. Despite later recanting on that pledge, The Progressive Party concentrated its efforts on a write-in campaign for slightly more committed contender Annette Smith, who as executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment has a strong, single-issue platform of stopping mountaintop wind development.
With the exception of the "To-Be-Determined" Democratic attorney general nominee, here is an unofficial list of candidates who will advance to the general election in 2012:
- Jim Condos incumbent
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- Vermont state executive official elections, 2012
- Vermont gubernatorial election, 2012
- Vermont lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012
- Vermont secretary of state election, 2012
- Vermont attorney general election, 2012
- Vermont down ballot state executive elections, 2012
- Vermont Secretary of State, "Unofficial election results," August 28, 2012
- Burlington Free Press, "Sorrell has edge, but no concession expected Tuesday night," August 28, 2012
- Associated Press, "Unofficial Results Vermont Primary 2012," August 28, 2012
- Vtdigger, "Vermont Primary 2012 Live Blog," August 29, 2012
- Vermont State Legislature, "The Vermont Statues-TItle 17 Chapter 49," accessed August 28, 2012
- The Vermont Press Bureau," "Martha Abbott aims to win suddenly competitive Progressive primary," August 19, 2012
- Burlington Free Press, "Sorrell claims victory says Donovan concedes," August 29, 2012