Democrats dominate local house elections


(Courtesy News and Citizen)

Lamoille County came out mostly for Democrats in races to serve in the Vermont House, save for a notable independent candidate in Stowe.

Despite a fresh set of newly reapportioned districts shaking things up, newcomers and incumbents who prevailed in the 2022 midterm general election were mostly blue.

Here’s how votes were cast across Lamoille County and neighboring districts.


Saudia LaMont, D-Morristown, has been elected to her first term after she received 2,488 votes on Tuesday, making her the first Black woman to be elected to the Legislature in Lamoille County.Incumbent Avram Patt, D-Worcester, was also elected to his fourth term after receiving 2,447 votes.

Ben Olsen, R-Morristown, received 1,319 votes while Nichole Loati, R/L-Morristown, got 1,146 votes.

After the district shifted in reapportionment to take on a chunk of Stowe, and incumbent Democrat David Yacovone stepped aside to take up the Lamoille County side judge seat vacated by Joel Page, the ground was prepared for new blood in the Lamoille-Washington district.

LaMont, Yacovone’s endorsed successor, ran on her experience as a community organizer and activist, and her belief that the myriad problems and challenges facing Vermonters are interconnected and need to be addressed together.

Patt emphasized his experience, temperament and his record. Despite a field of new challengers and tough questions around policies he helped lead on like the clean heat standard, he handily won alongside LaMont on the double Democratic ticket.

Olsen channeled both less government spending and deregulation policies championed by Republicans since the Reagan era as well as social conservatism, often speaking out against Prop 5 and further protections for abortion rights in the Constitution.

Despite positioning herself as a small business owner in favor of cutting government spending and being the candidate who, as of Nov. 4, raised the most money — over $18,000 — of any Lamoille-Washington district candidate, more voters cast blank votes than voted for Loati.


Incumbents also prevailed in this race with Kate Donnally, D-Hyde Park, and Dan Noyes, D-Wolcott, fighting off challenges from Richard Bailey, R/L-Hyde Park, and Mac Teale, R/L-Hyde Park.

Donnally and Noyes received 1,749 and 1,768 votes, respectively, while among the Hyde Park Republicans, Bailey led with 1,184 votes followed by Teale with 897 votes.

In debates among the candidates and in messaging, Donnally emphasized her approach to legislating for Vermont’s most vulnerable residents and her record championing criminal justice reform measures.

The stalwart Noyes has crafted his legislative brand around his role on the House Committee on Human Services with his consistent support for initiatives geared toward aging Vermonters and advocacy for foster children.

Bailey, a familiar face on the Lamoille Republicans circuit, hoped that his brand of conservatism and pledge of support for Republican Gov. Phil Scott might have broader appeal.

Teale, a relative newcomer to electoral politics, centered his campaign around a call for greater support and less regulation for the development of nuclear energy in Vermont, which he believed would be an effective solution to everything from global warming to fuel affordability.


Lucy Boyden, D-Cambridge, handily defeated Rebecca Pitre, R/L-Waterville, by a voting margin of 1,470-623.

Boyden, the 22-year-old daughter of a prominent multi-generational farm family, ran on the promise of bringing a rural perspective to the Legislature while taking a moderately progressive approach to the issues of the day, including affordable housing and child care.

She was endorsed early in the race by the outgoing Rep. Lucy Rogers, D-Waterville.

Pitre, the 61-year-old grandmother and relatively recent Lamoille County resident, ran a campaign centered around criticism of the clean heat standard bill, which, though it did not pass after being vetoed by Scott last session, has been labeled a fuel tax by Republicans. She paired policy centered around less taxation and deregulation with a conservative position around parental rights and other social issues.

Pitre came under fire early in her campaign from some residents after social media posts in which she called a local drag queen story hour “child abuse” were uncovered.”

Though she has claimed she is not homophobic, she never addressed questions about her remarks directly and said she opposed the expansion of legal protections for any group.

While Boyden ran a quiet campaign centered around door-to-door visits and some social events, Pitre withdrew from most public appearances after she was reportedly harassed during a campaign event at the Cambridge Transfer Station by someone upset about her past statements around drag queens and LGBTQ rights.

Records obtained from the Vermont State Police reveal that her accoster was identified, but he was never successfully contacted after the event and no charges were ever filed.

Pitre was the only candidate in Lamoille County who refused to participate in a series of candidate debates hosted by the News & Citizen. In social media posts and on her website, Pitre accused the newspaper of attempting to collude with Boyden, though its publisher refused repeated requests from Boyden’s campaign to host an event without Pitre.

In the closing weeks of her campaign, Pitre ran several advertisements that called Boyden unfit to serve in the Legislature because of her relative youth and alleged lack of life experience.

 Though Boyden never responded to the accusations directly, she and her supporters argued her knowledge around policy and politics belied her youth.


Jed Lipsky, I-Stowe, beat out Scott Weathers, D-Stowe, 1,386-881 to claim the seat recently vacated by longtime representative Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe.

The campaign saw Lipsky, a logger with deep roots in the area and familiar to many in the district, pitted against newcomer Weathers.

Though Lipsky received plenty of Republican money, he positioned himself as an independent to emphasize the socially liberal, fiscally conservative leanings of his campaign. His messaging around his familiarity with Stowe and therefore his ability to represent the town better than his opponent, along with his myriad social connections in the town, helped him win the day.

In a statement to the Stowe Reporter Wednesday morning, Lipsky wrote, “I know that these next two years will be challenging ones, but I promise to do all I can to help the families and businesses of Stowe. Thank you again for this tremendous honor.”

Weathers ran on a message of growing the Democratic supermajority in the Vermont Legislature while supporting policies like paid family leave, climate change mitigation and support for renewable energy.

He bristled at Lipsky’s attempts to compare his own residency record with the relatively recent arrival of Weathers, even leveling the charge of nativism at his opponent.

Weathers’ loss comes after he outraised Lipsky by a significant margin. As of Nov. 4, Weathers had raised more than $50,000 — about $56 for every vote he received — with the largest donations coming from out-of-state residents. Lipsky had raised over $33,000 as of Nov. 4.


Katherine Sims, D-Craftsbury, received 1,241 votes, defeating Vicki Strong, R-Albany, who received 791.

Sims and Strong had recently represented the same district, but reapportionment into a single-representative district forced constituents in the newly created Orleans-4 area to choose between one or the other.

Strong lost several of the towns in the reapportionment process, led by Democrats, that favored her in earlier races.

Though the two candidates differ greatly on social issues, both identified the differences in their respective policy approaches as where the election would be decided. Sims pledged to support the expansion of government programs to address issues of housing affordability and labor shortages in the area, while Strong focused on working against climate change regulation and limiting the role of the state.


In reapportionment, longtime Rep. Mark Higley, R-Lowell, found himself in a two-representative district. Along with the current Orleans-2 representative Michael Marcotte, R-Coventry, Higley ran unopposed for another term in the Legislature.

Lamoille Senate

Sen. Richard Westman, R-Cambridge, cruised into another term representing Lamoille County in the Vermont Senate.

Westman has not faced an opponent since the 2016 election.

In an election-day statement, however, the Cambridge Republican, who was also the area’s House representative from 1982 to 2009, wasn’t resting on his laurels.

He’s already squaring up to deal with the harsh budgetary realities facing the state on the horizon, the result of diminished revenue, the drying up of one-time, COVID-era federal funds and programs the state is committed to funding.

Among the projects Westman will be fighting to get funded in the upcoming biennium is a $10 million subsidy for the Vermont State University program, which will allow the universities, including the Johnson campus, to offer reduced tuition and remain sustainable after a dissolution threatened them a few years ago.

“That’s my number one priority: Figure out how to live within our revenues and make sure we can keep a strong state university system,” Westman said.

County-wide positions

A number of positions in Lamoille County were filled by candidates facing no opposition at all, including Yacovone, who replaced Page as side judge alongside Madeline Motta, D-Stowe.

Roger Marcoux, R-Morristown continues to be sheriff, a position he was appointed to in 2000.

State’s attorney Todd Shove, D-Elmore, ran unopposed for a second term in office

High bailiff Scott Kirkpatrick, R-Johnson, also ran unopposed for a second term.