- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Latest on the Vermont election (all times local):

11:35 p.m.

Republican Phil Scott says he’s humbled to be elected as Vermont’s next governor.

Scott says he didn’t know anything about politics 20 years ago and he can’t believe he’s made it to the state’s highest office.

He says there will be room for everyone in his administration who wants to make the state stronger.

Scott, the state’s lieutenant governor, defeated Democrat Sue Minter on Tuesday. Minter congratulated Scott on his victory.

The 58-year-old Scott ran on a platform of holding the line on tax increases and making Vermont a more affordable place to live.

The construction company executive and part-time racecar driver had served three two-year terms as Vermont’s part-time lieutenant governor and was previously in the state Senate.

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin did not seek a fourth two-year term.


9:20 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont is criticizing Senate Republicans’ refusal to bring to a vote President Barrack Obama’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Leahy made the comments Tuesday in his victory speech after being elected to his eighth term in the U.S. Senate.

Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, but the Senate has refused to consider the nomination.

Leahy says he hopes the nation will send a strong signal to the Republican leadership in Washington that they cannot keep a seat on the Supreme Court vacant.


7:50 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont has coasted to re-election.

Welch is a Democrat who also had the Republican nomination. He faced only a little-known third-party candidate.

He is Vermont’s lone representative in the U.S. House and was first elected in 2006.

Winning both major-party nominations is rare but not unheard of. Welch also was the pick of both parties in 2008 for Vermont’s only seat in the U.S. House.

This year, he was the only congressional candidate nominated by both the Democrats and the Republicans.

Welch is known as an open-minded liberal. He has been praised by GOP leaders in the House as a trustworthy colleague not given to grandstanding.


7:05 p.m.

Vermont’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy is heading back to Washington for his eighth term.

Leahy, the longest-serving member of the Senate, easily won re-election Tuesday over Republican challenger Scott Milne.

Milne, a travel industry executive, had focused his low-budget campaign on saying Leahy had been in Washington too long. He was a political newcomer two years ago when he nearly upset incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin.

When Leahy was first elected to the Senate in 1974, he was the first Democrat to represent the state in the Senate.

He focused his campaign on his experience and his ability to help Vermont residents.


7 p.m.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has won Vermont, which has three electoral votes.

The Associated Press called the state for Clinton shortly after the polls closed Tuesday.

Clinton was popular in Vermont, widely considered one of the most liberal states in the country. She was running against Republican Donald Trump.

Clinton supporter Heidi Ringer, of Montpelier, said Tuesday at the polls that she wanted Clinton to win because America needs to “remember what makes us great, and it’s our kindness and our compassion and our intelligence.”


5:30 p.m.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos says Election Day turnout in Vermont appears to be heavy.

As of about 5 p.m., Condos said he doesn’t have firm data, but is hearing from polling places around the state that turnout appears high.

Vermont already has set a new record for the number of registered voters.

The previous record for turnout was about 326,000 in 2008. That was President Barack Obama’s first election to the White House.

This year, Vermont also has an open seat for governor, with a race featuring Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott versus Democrat Sue Minter.

12:30 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has voted in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

He says he just came back from a 12-state swing for Hillary Clinton and says he hopes that today “we defeat Donald Trump and we defeat him badly.”

The independent U.S. senator from Vermont got 86 percent of the vote over Hillary Clinton in the state’s Democratic presidential primary in March, before losing the party nomination to her.

He says he thinks this has been a particularly ugly election and he hopes the nation can get beyond this and “start focusing on the very serious issues that face this country.”

He says he thinks Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter and Progressive/Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor David Zuckerman will be a great team for the state.


8 a.m.

The candidate of the tiny Liberty Union party isn’t expected to win this year’s election for governor of Vermont. But that candidate, former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher Bill Lee, still could throw a curveball.

If Lee gets enough votes to deny either Republican Phil Scott or Democrat Sue Minter a majority, the Legislature would decide the outcome in January. The race between Minter and Scott is widely expected to be close.

Outgoing Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin won two of this three two-year terms in office only when lawmakers decided the outcome on their return in January. In 2010, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie conceded to Shumlin after the Democrat narrowly won a plurality of the vote. In 2014, Republican Scott Milne would not concede until lawmakers voted.


1:06 a.m.

With a good weather forecast and voter registration at an all-time high, Secretary of State Jim Condos says Vermonters could set a new record for turnout this Election Day.

More than 470,000 were registered to vote as of Friday, up from fewer than 454,000 in 2008. That was the year of President Barack Obama’s first election to the White House and of Vermont’s previous high water mark for turnout, 71.9 percent.

But 2008 had a less exciting gubernatorial race than this year’s. Republican Gov. Jim Douglas was heavily favored to win his fourth term against Democratic House Speaker Gaye Symington and independent Anthony Pollina. This year it’s a close race between Democrat Sue Minter and Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott for a seat left open by the retirement of Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin.

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