Erhard Mahnke concedes to Martine Gulick in Chittenden Central state Senate race

Aug 22 2022, 2:57 PM
Martine Gulick observes a recount in the Chittenden County Central district Senate race between herself and Erhard Mahnke in Burlington on Friday, Aug. 19. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

After losing Friday’s recount by four votes, Erhard Mahnke called Martine Gulick on Monday morning to congratulate her for winning the Democratic nomination for a state Senate seat in the Chittenden Central district.

“With a 4-vote margin, this has been a tough loss, but I am confident in the recount results and do not intend to pursue further legal options,” Mahnke wrote in a statement Monday.

Mahnke had said Friday that he planned to ask a judge to review 21 ballots deemed defective before conceding the race.  

Gulick beat Mahnke, 3,948 to 3,944, according to the recount. Her lead over Mahnke grew by two votes compared to the original tally after the Aug. 9 primary.

Mahnke and Gulick were vying for a third spot on the Democratic side of the November ballot. Sen. Phil Baruth, D/P-Chittenden, and Rep. Tanya Vyhovsky, P/D-Essex, were the top vote-getters in the new three-seat district. 

Mahnke, an affordable housing advocate, thanked his supporters and wished Gulick luck in addressing a number of issues, including housing and climate change. “I wish her the best in helping Chittenden County and our entire brave little state face those challenges,” he wrote. 

Mahnke said he will return to work for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, “where I am part of an incredible team helping him fight the good fight every day for economic, social and environmental justice.”

– Auditi Guha

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