By Guy Page
A longtime incumbent Democrat lawmaker from Charlotte who voted against Proposal 5, the constitutional amendment on “reproductive liberty,” faces a primary challenge in August. Also, in at least four House races, Republicans will duke it out in the primary for the privilege of running in the general election, according to the Vermont Secretary of State’s office.
(This information is not intended to be inclusive of all primary races on the August 9 ballot.)
Barre Republicans – Michael Deering II, Tom Kelly, and Brian Judd – are running for the GOP nomination in the two-seat Barre City district. The winners will face Democrats Jonathan Williams and incumbent Peter Anthony in November.
NEK Republicans – In the downsized Orleans 4 (Albany, Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro) John Courchaine will challenge incumbent Rep. Victoria Strong in the primary. The winner will face incumbent Katherine Sims.
Enosburg Republicans Penny Demar and Zacharia Messier will seek the nomination for the one-seat district, and the winner will run against Democrat Cindy Weed in the November election.
On the Democratic side, longtime Charlotte Rep. Mike Yantachka faces a primary challenge from Chea Waters Evans, a local newspaper publisher. Yantachka, a eucharistic minister at the local Catholic church, was the sole Democrat to vote against Prop 5, the constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion. The Speaker of the House, Jill Krowinski, is a former lobbyist and vice-president for Planned Parenthood, the chief abortion provider in Vermont.
Five Democratic candidates will seek their party’s nomination for Montpelier’s two seats: Conor Casey, Ken Jones, Kate McMann, Merrick Modun, and Ethan Parke. Neither incumbent is running again.
Also, Democrats Ela Chapin, Theo Kennedy, and Zachary Sullivan will vie for the one-seat East Montpelier/Middlesex district.
Former lawmaker Paul Bielaski will face incumbents John Bartholomew and Elizabeth Burrows in the Windsor 1 Democratic primary.
Incumbent Kevin “Coach” Christie will face Democrat primary challenges from Nicholas Bramlage and Esme Cole in the Hartland (White River Junction) House seat. Incumbent Becca White is running for Senate, where she also faces a Democratic primary with incumbents Richard McCormack and Alison Clarkson and challenger Christopher Morrow.
And finally, some news about a couple of non-primary races in two separate House districts with very similar names.
Republican William Gaiotti and Democrat Mike Rice will seek the Bennington-Rutland district (Danby, Mt. Tabor, Dorset, Peru, Landgrove) House seat now held by Rep. Linda Joy Sullivan – who is not a declared candidate.
Progressive Robin Chestnut-Tangerman’s name is not on the primary ballot for the Rutland-Bennington district seat he lost to Salley Achey (Republican) of Middletown Springs two years ago. Achey will be faced in the general election by Christopher Hoyt, a Democrat.
Ole Mikey changed his tune on prop 5 recently. He’s a die hard liberal in every sense of the word. He’s also a major covid cultist.