Progressive Chesnut-Tangerman loses to Republican newcomer

Nov 3 2020, 11:53 PM
Republican Sally Achey edged incumbent Progressive Robin Chesnut-Tangerman for the Rutland-Bennington House seat. Campaign photo

Progressive/Democratic legislator Robin Chesnut-Tangerman has lost his reelection bid to Republican Sally Achey in the Rutland-Bennington House district. 

Achey beat Chesnut-Tangerman by just 32 votes, 1,417 to 1,385. 

Chesnut-Tangerman first won a House seat in 2014 and was reelected twice. He’s been a strong progressive voice and has been chair of the House Progressive Caucus. 

He said he’s surprised that he lost but gives Achey credit for running a strong campaign. He said he’s also considering a recount, but wouldn’t make a decision on election night.

He said he thinks Achey pushed disinformation about his record during the campaign. Chesnut-Tangerman supports the Transportation Climate Initiative, which would establish a carbon trading system in the Northeast in an effort to reduce use of fossil fuels. He said Achey pushed inaccurate information to voters that he would support a 17% carbon tax. 

In response to Chesnut-Tangerman’s comments, Achey said, “I’m disappointed he’s still campaigning.” 

Achey said she’s excited and proud to be heading to the Statehouse. As to how she flipped a Progressive seat to a Republican one, Achey said she knocked on every door in her district and prioritized the concerns she heard, particularly the fear of rising taxes. On her campaign website, Achey said she supports lowering taxes. 

“I’m feeling very, very proud and humbled by these people,” Achey said. “And I’m going to do my best representing them in Montpelier.” 

Grace Elletson