Colchester GOP primary ends in rare tie, causing run-off

September 5, 2018 by  

The race to determine the Republican candidate for Vermont’s District 9-2 in the state House of Representatives was supposed to be over by now — but things did not go quite as expected.

Initially, write-in candidate Pamela Loranger was announced as the winner by three votes, surprising local political observers. However, a recount found her exactly tied with candidate John Nagle at 174 votes, so the two will run it back in a special run-off election.

The run-off election will take place on September 10 in the Chittenden 9-2 district, consisting primarily of the city of Colchester. Loranger’s name will be on the ballot this time. Under Vermont’s state electoral system, the district will have a chance to elect two representatives, with each party putting forth two nominees. One of the Republican nominees will be incumbent Rep. Patrick Brennan, while the winner of the run-off between Nagle and Loranger will take the other GOP slot. In statehouse primaries where turnout is often low, ties and run-offs are more likely, often spurring another run of brochure printing and banner printing for the campaigns.

Loranger, a former Colchester city planner, announced her write-in candidacy in July. She secured the run-off election only after a judge ruled that a vote for her maiden name, Pamela Karr, could be given to her. The snap election is likely to pose challenges to Vermont ballot printers, who will have to slot the winning candidate into the November general election ballot.