Vermont GOP Gov. Scott reelected in deep blue state

Voters in deep-blue Vermont elected Republican Gov. Phil Scott to his fourth two-year term as the state’s top executive.

Scott, 64, defeated Democrat Brenda Siegel and three independent candidates.

Since he became governor in 2017, Scott said, he has focused on minimizing the tax burden, ensuring that vulnerable Vermonters are helped and growing the economy. He said that work is not yet finished.

Although a Republican, Scott was a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump and voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Along with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan — neither of whom sought re-election in 2022 — Scott has often been highlighted in national politics as among Republicans not caught up in the Make American Great Again version of the party that has emerged in recent years.

He led Vermont through the COVID-19 pandemic, winning high marks for helping the state avoid some of the harsh impacts felt by other states.

Scott is a fiscal conservative who has been reluctant to raise taxes or impose more of what he feels are onerous regulations that reduce economic opportunity in Vermont. The state is trying to counter a demographic crisis that has seen it lose young people over the years.

But Scott also has pushed, he says, to, make Vermont more affordable, and protect the vulnerable through efforts such as fighting the opioid epidemic, strengthening the mental health system and working to protect the environment. He has said he also wants to restore trust in government.

Siegel, a progressive activist who has focused on issues like housing, ending the opioid crisis and fighting climate change, ran for governor in 2018, coming in third in a four-person primary. In 2020, she ran for lieutenant governor, again coming in third in a four-person race. Siegel said her experiences as a small-business owner and low-income single mother give her a perspective lacking in Vermont politics.

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