NEWPORT, VT - Democrats decided on their Essex-Orleans senatorial candidates in the two-seat district.
Incumbent Robert Starr of North Troy received 978 votes, John Rodgers of Glover received 888 votes and Jim Guyette received 521 votes in Tuesday's primary. Starr and Rodgers will face off against Republicans Bob Lewis of Derby and Jay Dudley of Barton in the November general election.
“With the light voter turnout, I was happy with the way it went,” said Starr. Only 7 percent of Derby voters showed up at the polls.
Starr knows there is more work to be done and thinks the general election against Lewis and Dudley will be difficult.
“You don’t want to take it lightly,” said Starr. “It’s a big area and people have different views from one end of this district to the other. I’m certainly not going to take it like I can just walk into it.”
Starr said he is going to work much harder until the general election than he has up until now.
Starr suggested the Republicans may not have turned out in high numbers Tuesday because there was no contested primary race, kids are getting ready to return to school and some families might still be on vacation, Starr said.
Rodgers, a former member of the Vermont House, lost his seat to Sam Young in 2010. Rodgers called coming in second place to a very popular incumbent great. He said it means he is doing a good job about getting his message out to voters.
“I think if people actually take the time to get informed and check the record, I’ll have no problem winning the seat in November,” said Rodgers. “To me, it’s a clear choice.”
Rodgers said he and Starr have a long history of getting things done for the Northeast Kingdom.
Rodgers is concerned about his Republican opponents. He said some people don’t necessarily look at the issues and instead vote party line. Rodgers feels he will do fine with Republican voters if they take time to get informed.
“Our challenge is to reach out to those people, answer their questions, address their concerns, show them we have the experience to get things done down there,” Rodgers said. Rodgers is looking forward to the debates. “Hopefully, people will take time to come to the debates.”
Guyette, as of late Wednesday morning, didn’t know the results, but knew he came in third place, which he said is okay.
“I didn’t do too bad for a guy who only spent a hundred bucks,” said Guyette. “I think I got my money's worth.”
Guyette said he didn’t expect miracles but feels he made his point that there needs to be changes as far as jobs and the economy goes. Guyette said he’d considered running again.