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Zuckerman Prevails In Democratic Lt. Gov. Primary Race

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Steve Zind
/
VPR
Zuckerman was the only statewide candidate to receive the endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he credited with inspiring him to get into politics with his stand on economic and social justice issues.

Chittenden County Senator David Zuckerman will face former state senator and state auditor Republican Randy Brock in the lieutenant governor’s race in November.  

Zuckerman bested two fellow legislators to win the Democratic primary.

“Associated Press has just called the Lieutenant Governor’s race and I won the Democratic Primary!” a jubilant Zuckerman told the cheering crowd that had been anticipating the news for much of the evening.

Zuckerman is a Progressive who ran as a Democrat and the crowd that gathered in Burlington to cheer his apparent victory included many familiar faces from the Progressive Party.

“We’ve got Randy Brock as an opponent. He’s held statewide office before. He has the respect of a lot of Vermonters and we’re going to run a respectful, positive campaign about what [the] future can be for the state of Vermont,” Zuckerman told the crowd assembled at a Burlington restaurant.

Zuckerman was the only statewide candidate to receive the endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he credited with inspiring him to get into politics with his stand on economic and social justice issues.

“We have to carry on that legacy here and fight for those same fundamental issues of universal healthcare, livable wages, a sound, clean environmental policy, higher education opportunities,” said Zuckerman.

Unofficial results show the 44-year-old Zuckerman leading House Speaker Shap Smith by roughly 6 points, with Chittenden County representative Kesha Ram finishing further back.

Without stark contrasts on many issues, the candidates stressed their political and life experiences.

Zuckerman was first elected to the House in 1996 and won a Senate seat in 2012.

“It was easier to pick among great candidates someone who had been there longer or had more endorsements and we were an unlikely campaign from the start,” Kesha Ram said Tuesday night, describing her campaign as a "scrappy" underdog effort.

Now that she will not be returning to the Legislature in January, Ram said she is considering what to do next. She says her campaign was the first step in deciding what to do.

“I was ready for a new chapter. I just have to figure out what that is,” said Ram.

On Tuesday night, Smith said he was not yet ready to concede the election, but he said entering the race late and not being a Chittenden County candidate were disadvantages in the campaign.

Smith says he hasn’t made any decisions about his future in politics.  

“Even if I’m not in politics, part of what I’ll do is try to make sure that things are better for all Vermonters,” he said.

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