Becca Balint has won the Democratic primary for Vermont‘s only seat in the US House of Representatives. She will now face Liam Madden, the winner of the Republican nomination, in the November elections.
More than 55,000 ballots were received in favour of Balint on Tuesday, giving her at least 65% of the total votes. On the other hand, the Republican voter turnout was low. The New York Times called the election for Liam Madded with just 41% votes, or 9,500 ballots.
Balint could make history in the upcoming midterm elections in November. She could become the first woman and the first openly gay person to represent the state in Congress. In deep blue Vermont, it’s likely the Democratic candidate will also clinch the general election.
A win by Balint, who is white, would help erase what some consider to be the blot on the liberal state’s reputation of only being represented by white men.
Balint was given support from the progressive wing of the state party, including the state’s independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, and national progressive leaders such as Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Balint had campaigned with US Senator Bernie Sanders late last month.
Balint defeated Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, the centrist candidate who was supported by the state’s Democratic establishment including outgoing US Senator Patrick Leahy and former Democratic governors Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin.
Vermont also had other critical races on Tuesday. Voters decided their picks for the governor’s office and the US Senate. US Representative Peter Welch was picked by the Democrats to fill the US Senate seat.
Incumbent Republican governor Phil Scott also cruised to his party’s primary victory, defeating two candidates as he seeks a fourth term. He will now face Brenda Siegel, who won the Democratic primary.