Republican Scott Becomes Lieutenant Governor

11/03/10 7:04AM By Bob Kinzel
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AP Photo/Andy Duback
(Host) Republican Phil Scott has been elected as Vermont's next Lt. Governor.  Scott defeated Democrat Steve Howard by just under 10 percentage points.

Scott says he thinks he won because voters responded well to his call for lawmakers to seek bi-partisan solutions to some of the major issues facing the state.

VPR's Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) It was a race where the candidates' approach to the office seemed to matter more to voters than their stands on specific issues.

Scott is a five term senator from Washington County. Throughout the campaign he pointed out that a number of Senate leaders were retiring and his top priority was to provide a continuity of leadership in the chamber.

In contrast, his Democrat opponent Steve Howard said he wanted to "wake up this sleepy constitutional office" and be an active voice for the middle class.

Scott led throughout the night and in his victory speech, he told his supporters that his goal is to bring a bi-partisan spirit to the Senate:

(Scott) "My challenge to all the successful candidates tonight Republicans, Democrat or Independent is not only to fulfill our promises but to prove that we can work together as Vermonters. I thank you for being here and I thank you for celebrating with me and I appreciate it. Thank you."  

(Cheers)

(Kinzel) Scott will preside over a Senate that's heavily Democratic.  In an interview with VPR, Scott said he thinks it's critical for Republicans, Democrats and Progressives to work together to solve the state's pressing budget problems:

(Scott) "I think that's something that's incumbent on all of us if we want to see less polarization amongst our country we have to start locally and we have to start thinking about how we portray that and I think if again I think most people want to see us fix some of the ills of Vermont and the nation."

(Kinzel) Steve Howard never made an appearance at Democratic campaign headquarters last night and he was not available by phone to comment about this race.

For VPR News I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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