Vermont GOP Gov. Scott seeks reelection in deep blue state

Nov 8, 2022, 11:03 AM | Updated: 11:55 am
Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott arriving at his polling place in Berlin, Vt., on Tuesday Nov. 8,...

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott arriving at his polling place in Berlin, Vt., on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022, where he cast his ballot in the General Election. Scott is seeking is fourth two-year term leading deep blue Vermont. His Democratic opponent is progressive activist Brenda Siegel. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

(AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

Voters in deep blue Vermont were deciding whether to send Republican Gov. Phil Scott back to Montpelier for his fourth two-year term.

In Tuesday’s voting, the 64-year-old Scott was being challenged by Democrat Brenda Siegel and three independent candidates.

Since he became governor in 2017, Scott says, he has focused on minimizing the tax burden on Vermonters, ensuring that vulnerable residents are helped and growing the economy.

Although a Republican, Scott was a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, and he voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Scott led Vermont through the COVID-19 pandemic, winning high marks for helping the state avoid some of the harsh impacts felt by other states.

Along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan — neither of whom sought reelection in 2022 — Scott was often highlighted in national politics as among Republicans not caught up in the Make American Great Again version of the party that has emerged in recent years.

Scott is a fiscal conservative who has been reluctant to raise taxes or impose more of what he feels are onerous regulations that reduce economic opportunity in Vermont. The state is trying to counter a demographic crisis that has seen it losing young people.

But Scott also has pushed, he says, to grow the state’s economy, make Vermont more affordable, and protect the vulnerable through efforts such as fighting the opioid epidemic, strengthening the mental health system and working to protect the environment. He has said he also wants to restore trust in government.

Siegel, a progressive activist who has focused on issues such as housing, ending the opioid crisis and fighting climate change, ran for governor in 2018, coming in third in a four-person primary. In 2020, she ran for lieutenant governor, again coming in third in a four-person race.

Siegel says her experiences as a small business owner and as a low-income single mother give her a perspective lacking in Vermont politics.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the elections at: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections. Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections.

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              Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott smiles during an election night rally party in Burlington, Vt., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Scott faces Brenda Siegel, the Democratic challenger, in the general election. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
            
              Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott arriving at his polling place in Berlin, Vt., on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022, where he cast his ballot in the General Election. Scott is seeking is fourth two-year term leading deep blue Vermont. His Democratic opponent is progressive activist Brenda Siegel. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)
            
              Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott feeds his ballot into the vote counting machine at the Town Clerk's office in his home town of Berlin, Vt., on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022. Scott's first ballot was rejected after he had incorrectly filled out a portion of it. His first ballot was rejected and he was given a new one, which he then successfully fed into the machine. Scott is seeking his fourth two-year term as governor of deep blue Vermont. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)
            
              Brenda Siegel, a Democratic candidate for Vermont Governor, smiles during a campaign event, Oct. 21, 2022, in Stowe, Vt. Siegel is challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)
            
              Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott arriving at his polling place in Berlin, Vt., on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022, where he cast his ballot in the General Election. Scott is seeking is fourth two-year term leading deep blue Vermont. His Democratic opponent is progressive activist Brenda Siegel. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)
            Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott prepares to cast his ballot at the Town Clerk's office in his home town of Berlin, Vt., on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022. Scott's first ballot was rejected after he had incorrectly filled out a portion of it. He was given a new ballot, which after his filled it out, he then successfully fed into the machine. Scott is seeking his fourth two-year term as governor of deep blue Vermont. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

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Vermont GOP Gov. Scott seeks reelection in deep blue state