While official election results released Wednesday confirm that Gov. Peter Shumlin won a plurality in last week’s election, the Democrat is hoping to hold on to the office in January when legislators could decide the race. Under the Vermont constitution, if no candidate for governor, lieutenant governor or treasurer wins more than 50 percent of the vote, lawmakers choose the winner when they begin their new session. Their longstanding tradition has been to support the plurality winner. Republican challenger Scott Milne said Wednesday he won’t ask for a recount, but could ask the Legislature to reverse the results in January. “I do not believe that a recount is the best way to spend taxpayer dollars,” Milne said in a statement, but added that he’ll make an announcement next week “regarding the Legislature’s constitutional duty in January.” Shumlin said he hopes the tradition holds.
“The person who gets the most votes in a democracy is the one that should serve that term. … That’s been the tradition, and I would be surprised if that tradition wasn’t upheld,” he said.
Results released at the secretary of state’s office showed Shumlin with 89,509 votes and Milne with 87,075 votes, a 2,434 difference. The numbers gave Shumlin 46.4 percent of the vote and Milne 45.1 percent. Libertarian Dan Feliciano received 4.4 percent of the vote and four other candidates split the rest.