By Laura Krantz, VTDigger.org
Gov. Peter Shumlin was re-elected to a third term Thursday morning, Jan. 8, in a secret ballot by a joint assembly of the Vermont Legislature.
Shumlin defeated Republican Scott Milne in a 110-69 vote.
In the Nov. 4 general election, Shumlin beat Milne by 2,434 votes. He won 46.4 percent of the vote, while Milne received 45.1 percent. Under the Vermont Constitution, if no candidate wins the plurality, the Legislature votes by ballot.
Milne listened to the results just outside the House chamber.
“I hope one of the legacies of my campaign is that Vermonters realize that it’s possible to get involved and make a difference,” he said after the vote.
Milne said he was not surprised by results. He acknowledged that he “came out of nowhere,” but pointed out that he nevertheless nearly defeated an incumbent governor in a Democratic state.
In the event that he had won, Milne said he had prepared an inaugural address that focused on his central theme of slowing down and thinking through financial consequences of policies before taking action.
Milne declined to say whether he plans to run for another office in the future.
Milne said he believes the secret ballot was the correct way to vote and he does not believe lawmakers should change the Constitution. Legislators should have voted for the candidate they believed would make the best governor, he said.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue serving this state I love,” Shumlin said in a statement after the vote.