Primary Primer

This year's primary is set for Aug. 28. (File photo)

By Luke Baynes

Observer staff

At 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Williston Armory will open its doors to registered voters wishing to cast their votes in the Vermont primary election.

The Democratic Party primary election ballot contains the names of four Williston residents: Debbie Ingram and incumbent Ginny Lyons, who are running for state senator in the Chittenden Senate District; and Terry Macaig and Jim McCullough, who are seeking re-election as state representatives in the Chittenden-2 District.

The Republican Party ballot features three Willistonians: Jay Michaud and Thomas Nelson, who hope to unseat Macaig and McCullough in the general election; and Shelley Palmer, who is making his second run at a Vermont Senate seat.

There is no voter registration by party in Vermont. On primary day, voters will be given three ballots—Democratic, Republican and Progressive—and will be asked to cast their votes on one, while placing the other two ballots in an “unvoted box.”

In addition to the Vermont Senate and House races, offices up for election include U.S. senator, representative to Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, secretary of state, auditor of accounts, attorney general and high bailiff.

Barring a successful write-in campaign, the Progressive Party primary is a foregone conclusion, with Progressive candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer and state senator all running uncontested.

The Republican ticket features two contested races. John MacGovern of Windsor and H. Brooke Paige of Washington are vying for their party’s nomination for U.S. senator, while Randall Barrows of Milton and Gordon Gilbert of Burlington are both seeking the position of high bailiff.

In what has been the most hotly contested campaign of the summer, incumbent Attorney General William Sorrell and Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan are competing for the Democratic nomination for attorney general.

Joining Senate candidates Ingram and Lyons in the Democratic primary are Sally Fox of South Burlington, Peter Hunt of Essex, David Zuckerman of Hinesburg, and Ed Adrian, Tim Ashe, Philip Baruth and Loyal Ploof of Burlington.

Each major party in the Chittenden Senate District is allocated six slots on the general election ballot, meaning that Palmer—who is joined by only Diane Snelling of Hinesburg on the Republican primary ballot—is all but assured a spot on the Republican ticket in November.

The Chittenden Senate District, which is apportioned six senators, comprises all of Chittenden County, with the exception of the town of Colchester, which is in the Grand Isle Senate District, plus the town of Huntington and Buel’s Gore, which are located in the Addison Senate District.

The Williston Armory will stay open until 7 p.m. on Aug. 28.

The Vermont general election will be held Nov. 6.