Politics

Montpelier mayor and 2 incumbents lock up Democratic nominations for Washington County state Senate

From left: Ann Cummings, Anne Watson and Andrew Perchlik. File photos by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Updated at 12:20 a.m.

Sen. Ann Cummings, Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson and Sen. Andrew Perchlik are the three Democratic nominees for Washington County’s state Senate district. 

As the ballot-counting continued late Tuesday night, and with 88% of precincts reporting, Cummings and Watson were running neck and neck for who'd finish first, but both are assured of being on the November ballot. Perchlik finished third. The Associated Press reported the vote counts.

Finishing out of the running were Jared Duval, former economic development director for the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and Jeremy Hansen, a Norwich University computer science professor. Duval had earned 19% of the vote, and Hansen 9%.

The county’s third incumbent, Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, announced earlier this year that he would not seek another term. 

The two Republican candidates, Paul Bean and Dwayne Tucker, had no opposition in the primary.

"I'm grateful that the people of Washington County have chosen to let me continue," Cummings said. "I love my work, and I'm happy to be able to continue to work for the people of Washington County."

She plans to renew her work on climate change legislation, including the clean heat standard, which Gov. Phil Scott opposed. Cummings expects the clean heat standard to be back before the Legislature next year, and she envisions "perhaps trying to work something out with the governor."

Watson said she was “delighted and I guess I'm surprised that I have done so well," Watson told VTDigger Tuesday evening. “It's pretty overwhelming right now, actually in a wonderful way.”

"I expected to do very well in Montpelier," Watson said. "Folks here know me and have voted to support me as mayor but I guess I'm a little surprised at how well I did outside of Montpelier."

For the general election, Watson said she’s “continuing to get to know people around Washington County, Stowe, Orange and Braintree.”

Perchlik hopes to focus on child and family support, combating climate change and implementing ranked choice voting next session.

"It looks like we're going to have several candidates in the Democratic primary get the nomination with under 50% support," Perchlik said. "So whenever you have that happen, you wonder how things would have changed if you had ranked choice voting."

As for election night, “I was really impressed by Anne Watson's campaign and her results, and it was expected that Ann Cummings would get in there, and I'm just really excited to work with Ann and Anne next session," Perchlik said. 

"It's great that Washington County had five candidates to choose from," Perchlik said. "There's a lot of other Senate elections where the voters didn't have a choice. There wasn't a primary contest. I think that's good for democracy and shows that the Washington district is an active political area."

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Jenna Peterson

About Jenna

Jenna Peterson is a student at the University of Southern California, where she is majoring in journalism and political science. She is news editor at the Daily Trojan at USC and was an editor of the Burlington High School student newspaper when it received a special New England Newspaper & Press Association award for successfully fighting a censorship effort by school administrators.

Email: [email protected]

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