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Republican Gov. Phil Scott is running for election against Democratic Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman.
Both Scott and Zuckerman have been in their respective posts since 2017. In Vermont, votes for governor and lieutenant governor are cast on separate ballots, allowing a partisan split to exist in its executive branch, as is the case today.
Previously, Scott served as lieutenant governor for six years and as a state senator for 10 years before that. Zuckerman, also a longtime politician, had served in the state senate as well as the house.
Scott, 62, announced his reelection bid for a third term in May. He handily won the GOP primary election in August against four challengers.
A moderate Republican, Scott is one of the most popular governors in the country with a 65 percent approval rating. An overwhelming majority of Vermonters — 83 percent — also say they support his COVID-19 response, according to a recent Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS poll.
The governor has been a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump and announced that he will not be voting for him in 2020 in an apparent appeal to his state’s left-leaning electorate.
Zuckerman is the state’s first Progressive Party candidate to hold a statewide office. A champion of progressive policies like raising the minimum wage and legalizing marijuana, he endorsed fellow Vermonter Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential race.
Zuckerman, 49, jumped into the gubernatorial race in January and defeated former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe in the Democratic primary.
“As we look toward emerging from this crisis we must lead in a new way,” Zuckerman said in his victory speech on his farm, which he has been running with his wife for around two decades. “We must lead in a creative way, we must lead in an inclusive and innovative way,” he said.
Vermont is solidly blue on the national level, choosing the Democratic candidate for presidential, US Senate and US House races for the past recent election cycles. The governorship, however, is more of a mixed bag, alternating between both parties to represent the highest-ranked office in recent decades. Experts have said that Vermonters typically support the incumbent.
Another important 2020 race in Vermont is for the state’s sole congressional district, between incumbent Democratic Rep. Peter Welch and Republican Miriam Berry.
The money race: Scott has raised $337,000 this campaign cycle, the bulk of which, $203,000, was collected in September. The governor has pledged to accept little resources for his reelection bid and instead prioritized his efforts on the coronavirus response. Zuckerman has raked in more money than Scott, with $568,000 total.
What the polls say: Scott has a huge 2-1 lead over Zuckerman, according to a September poll from VPR-Vermont PBS.
What the experts say: The race is rated solid Republican by Cook Political Report and Inside Elections, and safe Republican by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. Join the conversation about this story »