Two-Biter Bites Again

Remember my pre-election post about Vermont’s Two-Biters? The Progressives who ran in Democratic primaries, lost, and then ran as Progressives?

Well, one of them cost the Democrats a seat in the House.

Up in the two-seat Lamoille-Washington district, which stretches from Morrisville to Worcester along Route 12, Democrat David Yacovone and Republican Gary Nolan were elected. Incumbent Democrat Avram Patt finished a close third.

Prog-turned-Dem-turned-Prog Marci Young siphoned off more than enough votes to elect the Republican Nolan. The final returns:

Yacovone 2,449

Nolan 1,915

Patt 1,698

Young   865

Patt lost by 219 votes, roughly one-fourth of Young’s total. I think we can safely assume that without Young in the race, he would have picked up enough additional votes to finish second.

Does this make a big difference in the grand scheme of things? Maybe not. Although the Dems are very close to having a veto-proof majority if they work with the Progressive caucus on key issues. A single seat could potentially lead to a Phil Scott veto being upheld.

Whether or not it ever makes a difference, could the Dems honestly be just a little bit pissed? You betcha.

There’s something unseemly, if not unfair, about the same candidate running twice for the same office on two different tickets. The Progs are, at least for now, pursuing a strategy of running their candidates under the Democratic banner; in return, they might be expected to play nice.

Avram Patt is a good and diligent guy, a former head of the Washington Electric Co-op, which has been a pioneer in the drive toward renewable energy. (Its biggest source of electricity is a power plant in Coventry that’s powered by methane from a giant landfill. If it wasn’t burned for power, the methane would be vented into the atmosphere, so the power plant actually reduces the total carbon footprint.)

And who is his replacement?

Mr. Nolan’s website lays out a conservative agenda of cutting taxes, state spending, and gutting — er, ahem, “streamlining” — the permitting process.

By trade, he is (better sit down for this) an executive in a leading construction firm and a past officer of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont*. I’ll bet he wants to “streamline” permitting.

*a.k.a. Phil Scott’s favorite special interest group.

Well, thanks in large part to Young’s no-hope candidacy, we’ll lose Avram Patt and replace him with a doctrinaire conservative who has a strong professional interest in making it easier to build stuff.

Now that’s progressive.

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