Democrats Sweep Addison County Races


Addison Dems hosted an election party at the Middlebury Inn. Residents gathered to watch local and national results in the lobby

Early on election night, Democrats Mari Cordes and Caleb Elder won seats in the Vermont House of Representatives, ousting the Republican incumbent Fred Baser. Retiring Democratic legislature Dave Sharpe, who left one of the house seats open, said he is pleased with the results.

“We’ve elected two Democrats and they’ve both worked very hard. They’re going to be great representatives,” Sharpe said. “I’m really pleased with their character and their knowledge.”

Sharpe speculated that Baser may have lost on the basis of his voting record. “The concerning part for myself, and I think for a lot of voters in the district, was that while he voted for some good policy on the floor of the house, he sustained the governor’s vetoes and changed his vote to do that,” he said. “I think the blue wave is real.”

Sharpe also applauded state senator-elects Ruth Hardy and Chris Bray for their landslide victory. “I knew that Bray and Hardy were going to win big right from the beginning,” he said. “They outshine their competitors by a whole lot and the public realized that. They’ll have a big win tonight before all the votes are counted.”

Other Democratic candidates are still waiting for their election results to come in. Dennis Wygmans, the current state’s attorney for Addison County, does not expect his election to be called before morning. “So far I’m optimistic but it’s going to be very tight,” he said. Wygmans has never run for election before as he was appointed by former governor Peter Shumlin. He said the process of running for office has been eye-opening. “It’s a lot of work,” he said. “Especially when you have to work the job of being state’s attorney on top of trying to run for office.”

I knew that Bray and Hardy were going to win right from the beginning.”

— Dave Sharpe

As for the other races of the night, he said he is hoping for all the county races to go blue. “I have a lot of folks I’ve campaigned with here,” he said. “I’m rooting for all the Dems on the ballot.”

Lieutenant Sheriff Peter Newton, who is currently running for sheriff, is also optimistic about his prospects, especially after winning both the Democratic and Republican primaries in August as a registered Democrat. “Going into this we knew we would do well, it’s just a matter of waiting for the results to come in,” he said. Like Wygmans, Newton expects this to be a long night. “It sounds like I’m ahead by a lot, but until I start seeing it for myself, I won’t rest,” he said.