After Tie, Burlington Democrats Re-caucus And Nominate Weinberger

12/11/11 5:19PM By Kirk Carapezza

VPR/Kirk Carapezza
Miro Weinberger, center, is the Democratic nominee in the race for Burlington mayor. Weinberger hugged his opponent, Democratic-Progressive State Senator Tim Ashe, for the cameras after the ballot results were announced Sunday.
Burlington Democrats have chosen a real estate developer and newcomer to city politics as their candidate for mayor. It took a month for Democrats to settle on airport commissioner Miro Weinberger.

In November, a four-way contest in the Democratic race ended in a tie between Weinberger and Democratic-Progressive State Senator Tim Ashe. At a follow-up to the caucus Sunday, Weinberger defeated Ashe by taking 655 of the votes to Ashe's 533.

Weinberger told supporters he's confident he can succeed Mayor Bob Kiss. "We are one step closer to being able to turn a page on the history of the last six years and write a new chapter for this city," Weinberger said. "In that new chapter we'll have a future where we get city finances back in order, we restore trust, faith and accountability in City Hall again, and we focus on bringing quality education, making this city more affordable and bringing jobs to this city."

Ashe presented himself as a fusion candidate who would be able to bridge historic divides between Burlington's Democrats and Progressives. Ashe says he won't try to carry the Progressive banner in the March election.

"I am out of the race and I am grateful to the people of Burlington who have voted for me over the years for a number of offices. Honestly, I get to go back to the state Senate, and I am tremendously grateful to the voters for allowing me to do that," he said.

Burlington Democrats chose Weinberger just as the Progressives were meeting for a potluck dinner ahead of their caucus. Progressive Mayor Bob Kiss is not seeking re-election, and Progressives Sunday night decided to delay nominating a candidate until January.

Some Democrats had openly speculated that if Ashe were chosen the party would lose support because of his background in Progressive politics. They worried that would leave the door open for City Councilor Kurt Wright, the only Republican in the race. But both Weinberger and Ashe have pledged to work together to unite Democrats and Progressives going into the general election.



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