State primaries on Tuesday (Sept. 4, 2008)

Democrats only party with contested races

Sept. 4, 2008
By Greg Elias
Observer staff

A primary to select candidates for state offices will be held Tuesday. But except for Democrats, voters will find few choices on the ballot.

Local voting takes place at the Williston Armory. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The primary will be a formality for Republican, Progressive and Liberty Union voters. There are no contested races on the ballots for those parties, although write-in candidates are permitted.

The Progressive Party ballot offers just one candidate, Thomas Hermann of Barre, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives. The Liberty Union Party fields six candidates for various statewide races.

Even Republicans are skipping some state races. The party is not even mounting a challenge to incumbent Democratic Congressman Peter Welch, who faces Craig Hill of Montpelier on the party ballot. The Democratic ballot does offer a full slate of candidates and features four contested races, most notably a scramble for the six Chittenden County seats in the Vermont Senate.

Nine Democrats are vying for the seats, including two Williston residents: incumbent Ginny Lyons and challenger Tim Palmer.

Lyons, a college instructor, is seeking her third term. Palmer, who narrowly lost a race for the same post in the last primary, is the director of the Vermont-based Sustainability Institute.

Republican and Democratic voters will each see two candidates on the ballot for Vermont House of Representatives. However, with two seats up for grabs and only two candidates from each party, the primary ballot offers no real choice.

The names voters will see on Tuesday’s ballot are in the adjoining box. Races where no candidate is listed are omitted.

Primary ballots

Democratic Party

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Craig Hill, Montpelier
Peter Welch, Harland

GOVERNOR
Gaye Symington, Jericho

LT. GOVERNOR
Thomas Costello, Brattleboro
Nate Freeman, Northfield

STATE TREASURER
Jeb Spaulding, Montpelier

SECRETARY OF STATE
Deb Markowitz, Montpelier

AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS
Thomas Salmon, St. Johnsbury

ATTORNEY GENERAL
William Sorrell, Burlington

VERMONT SENATE
Tim Ashe, Burlington
Denise Barnard, Richmond
Edward Flanagan, Burlington
Ginny Lyons, Williston
Dennis McMahon, Burlington
Hinda Miller, Burlington
Tim Palmer, Williston
Doug Racine, Richmond
Sean Starfighter, Burlington

VERMONT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Terry Macaig, Williston
Jim McCullough, Williston

HIGH BAILIFF
Daniel Gamelin, Colchester
Loyal Ploof, Burlington

Republican Party
GOVERNOR
Jim Douglas, Middlebury

LT. GOVERNOR
Brian Dubie, Essex

SECRETARY OF STATE
Eugene Bifano, Warren

ATTORNEY GENERAL
Karen Kerin, Royalton

VERMONT SENATE
Diane Snelling, Hinesburg

VERMONT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Brennan Duffy, Williston
Shelley Palmer, Williston

Progressive Party

GOVERNOR
Thomas Hermann, Barre City

Liberty Union Party

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Jane Newton, Londonderry

GOVERNOR
Peter Diamondstone, Brattleboro

LT. GOVERNOR
Ben Mitchell, Westminster

STATE TREASURER
Murray Ngoima, Pomfret

AUDITOR OF ACCOUNTS
Jerry Levy, Brattleboro

ATTORNEY GENERAL
Rosemarie Jackowski, Brattleboro