Weinberger Vanquishes Challengers, Dems Lose Ground On Burlington Council
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger won a major victory Tuesday over three challengers.
Weinberger said the margin of 3,525 votes, according to unofficial tallies, underlines Burlingtonians’ feeling that his administration is doing what’s best for the city.
"Today, the engaged people of Burlington have sent the strong message that we are on the right path,” Weinberger said before an energetic crowd of supporters at Nectar’s after the results came in.
Weinberger’s top challenger, Progressive Steve Goodkind, was highly critical of the mayor’s push for new development in the city. Independent challenger Greg Guma had a very similar platform, but the two candidates combined ended up with less than half of Weinberger’s vote total.
Still, the first-term mayor didn’t reject those concerns Tuesday.
“Our efforts to make this city more affordable and to create more opportunities for all Burlingtonians will be stronger and more focused as a result of the debate of the last two months,” he said.
"Our efforts to make this city more affordable and to create more opportunities for all Burlingtonians will be stronger and more focused as a result of the debate of the last two months." - Mayor Miro Weinberger
The Democratic mayor’s major victory wasn’t so present in Burlington’s city council races. In the current 14-member council, Democrats hold seven seats. Last year’s redistricting process shrank the council to 12 seats, and Democrats only hold five after Tuesday’s elections.
The shift means current City Council President Joan Shannon may lose the title to a Progressive. While Progressives hold just four seats, two independent candidates elected Thursday are expected to align with them.
The result is a divided government. But unlike in Washington, Weinberger said he doesn’t expect that to be a problem in Burlington politics.
“I look at my relationship with [Democratic] Councilor [David] Hartnett as a great example from that in the past,” he said. “He ran [Republican] Kurt Wright’s campaign a few years ago and now we work very well together. Kurt and I work very well together. I certainly expect that to be the case going forward, and I congratulate all the councilors who won tonight.”
The council will elect a president on April 6.