GOP picks up three seats in the House, weakening Dem/Prog ‘super coalition’

Vermont’s Republican Party picked up three seats in the House on Tuesday, knocking the Democratic/Progressive “super coalition” down to 99 seats, just short of the 100 needed to override Gov. Phil Scott’s frequent vetoes. 

Tuesday’s results mark a reversal from 2018, when Democrats picked up 10 seats, and the D/P House caucuses combined for 102 members. 

The reduced 99-member liberal coalition means Democrats and Progressives will need to find at least one Independent or Republican vote on a bill-by-bill basis to take on the governor. 

Progressives and Independents held steady this year, remaining at seven and five House members, respectively. Republicans flipped six seats, compared to three that went the other way for Democrats and Progressives. 

The night’s signature upset was Republicans ousting Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson from her Grand Isle House seat (by only 18 votes, making a recount all but certain). Rep. Leland Morgan, R-Milton, will now be joined by his nephew, Michael Morgan, in the Statehouse. 

The House Progressive Party chair, Rep. Robin-Chesnut Tangerman, also lost by just 32 votes to Republican Sally Achey in the Rutland-Bennington district. The GOP also knocked off incumbent Reps. Carl Demrow, D-Corinth, and Dave Potter, D-Clarendon.

In the other column, the biggest upset for Democrats was Alyssa Black knocking out incumbent Rep. Robert Bancroft, R-Westford. 

Progressives also picked up a seat in Essex Junction, where Tanya Vyhovsky won a seat left open by Republican Rep. Linda Myers. Democrat Larry Satcowitz also won a seat in Randolph previously held by right-leaning Independent Rep. Peter Reed. 

Democrats scored another win in defeating one of their own in the Bennington 4 district. The joint Democratic ticket of Kathleen James and Seth Bongartz ousted Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, who fell out with the party this spring and ran as an independent. 

Spencer Dole, the Democratic House campaign coordinator, declined to comment on the results Wednesday morning. Paul Dame, his Republican counterpart, could not immediately be reached.

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Grace Elletson, Ellie French and Katya Schwenk contributed reporting. Data compiled by Erin Petenko.

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Colin Meyn

About Colin

Colin Meyn is VTDigger's managing editor. He spent most of his career in Cambodia, where he was a reporter and editor at English-language newspapers The Cambodia Daily and The Phnom Penh Post, and most recently at Southeast Asia Globe, a regional current affairs magazine. He is a native of Maine and studied journalism at Northwestern University.

Email: [email protected]

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