Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson lost her re-election bid by 18 votes in the Grand Isle House race.
“Four of the six towns that I represent voted for me with greater numbers then they ever had in twenty years, and two of the towns voted for me in greater numbers then they had in eight or ten years, but it wasn’t quite enough to get me there,” Johnson said.
According to the unofficial count reported to Vermont’s Secretary of State, Leland Morgan received 2,776 votes (27%), Michael Morgan received 2,627 votes (25%) and Johnson received 2,607 votes (25%).
“Because it is such a small number out of a record number of votes I am asking for a recount,” Johnson said.
The Director of Elections in Vermont, Will Senning said it’s not uncommon to call for a recount.
“So if the difference between the two candidates is less than five percent of the total votes cast they qualify for a recount,” Senning said.
The recount must be requested within seven days after the election.
“You always know there’s a chance that you can lose and I have kept respect for the process that the voters have the choice and this isn’t my seat, it’s not my speakership, it’s my communities legislative seat,” Johnson said.
Johnson is the speaker until January unless the recount says otherwise.
“If that caps out at 18 years with a loss of 18 votes there’s something poetic in that,” Johnson said.
Johnson said she was disappointed there wasn’t a clear win for her, but is moving forward and is working to make sure the legislature is set up to work safely for the new year.