McAllister loses Franklin County Senate primary

Sen. Norm McAllister, who was accused of sexually assaulting three women, has lost the Republican primary for the Franklin County Senate seat.

McAllister came in a distant third behind Sen. Dustin Degree and Rep. Carolyn Branagan. Degree got 2,741 votes or 37 percent, while Branagan received 2,458 votes, or 33 percent. McAllister received 771, or about 10 percent.

McAllister, a dairy farmer, ran for office despite allegations that he sexually abused several women. A case brought by a former intern was dropped by the prosecution. A second case will be taken up by the courts in December. A third alleged victim died of natural causes last year.

The Republican senator maintains his innocence.

The Senate voted to suspend McAllister last January.

McAllister told VTDigger last week that he anticipated that his record representing Franklin County in the Senate would be “overshadowed” by the charges against him.

At a Republican Party breakfast in Montpelier Wednesday morning, Degree said that it is an “honor” to be running for office under the party’s banner for the fourth time.

Degree said that the election provided an opportunity for the county to move forward.

“People can pontificate all they want,” Degree said. “But at the end of the day, this was the best way for us to move past this entire situation. Give the folks an opportunity to select our candidates, and you know, move forward that way.”


Anne Galloway

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