Vt. Judge Confirms Abbott Wins Progressive Primary
09/18/12 4:04PM By Bob Kinzel
A Vermont judge has ruled that Martha Abbott is the winner of the Progressive Party primary election for governor.
Abbott has withdrawn and won't run in the general election. But under Vermont law, that doesn't throw the race to the second-place finisher, write-in candidate Annette Smith.
Washington Superior Court Judge Robert Bent's ruling says Smith and her team pointed out a small number of vote-counting irregularities. But the judge ruled those would not be enough to change the outcome.
The final tally stands at Abbott 381, Smith 340.
Abbott, who is Chairwoman of the Progressives, says the party decided not to run against incumbent Democrat Peter Shumlin because he's championed single payer health care and closing Vermont Yankee.
"Because those are Governor Shumlin's two top issues at this point we feel that, even though we have differences with Governor Shumlin on a number of other issues, that this year it would be important not to make the difference in that race and not to be a factor in that race, and we have other races we want to focus on," Abbott said.
Abbott said the Progressives are focusing on legislative House and Senate races, as well as races for Lt. Governor and Auditor, among others.