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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Landslide: Weinberger Trounces Challengers to Win a Second Term

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 10:06 PM

click to enlarge Miro Weinberger shortly after winning a second term - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Miro Weinberger shortly after winning a second term
Miro Weinberger handily won a second term as mayor of Burlington with roughly 68 percent of the vote.

The Democrat defeated three opponents. Progressive Steve Goodkind got 22 percent of the vote, independent Greg Guma had 6.6 percent and Libertarian Loyal Ploof trailed with 2 percent, according to unofficial results. 

Weinberger strode onto the stage at Nectar’s and delivered an exuberant victory speech under the green and red glow of spotlights. Practically yelling into the microphone, he began, “Today the engaged people of Burlington have sent a strong message that we are on the right path.”

The mayor, who ran on the campaign slogan “Moving Forward,” pledged to make Burlington more affordable, walkable, "bikeable" and livable.

Afterwards, during an interview with reporters, Weinberger said, “What I commit to people is we’ll bring the same thoughtful, careful, deliberate, focused approach to these challenges as we brought to the challenges of last three years.”

In a nod to his three opponents, Weinberger noted, “Their concerns about the pace of change and preserving public open space resonated with many in the city and they resonated with me.”

He demurred when WPTZ’s Stewart Ledbetter inquired about his future political ambitions. “This could propel you could it not? Down the road?” Ledbetter asked.
click to enlarge Steve Goodkind - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Steve Goodkind

The mayor responded, “Stewart, what tonight means to me is that I get to keep doing this job that I love for another three years… that’s all I’m focused on.”

Weinberger ran on the claim that he’s turned around the Queen City’s finances — which even his opponents declined to dispute. Instead, his challengers focused on the mayor’s future plans, which, they said, would fuel a building boom and encourage gentrification.

Weinberger barely engaged with Guma and Ploof throughout the campaign, but he consistently called into question Goodkind’s record as the former public works director.

The Democratic incumbent maintained an enormous fundraising lead — as of February 23, the most r ecent campaign finance filing deadline, he’d brought in roughly $100,000. In a distant second, Guma reported approximately $12,000.

Weinberger surpassed 70 percent in Wards 4, 5, 6 and 7. His weakest showing was in the traditionally Progressive Wards 2 and 3 and in the new Ward 8, where he took home roughly half of the vote. Goodkind won 38 percent of the votes in Ward 8, and broke 30 percent in Wards 2 and 3. Guma hit the double digits only in Wards 2 and 3, where he received 15 percent and 11 percent of the vote, respectively.

Goodkind said Weinberger used the powers of incumbency to win to re-election. “He’s powerful,” Goodkind said. “He’s got a great machine.” 

“I think the political landscape has shifted,” Goodkind said. “A lot of [Weinberger's] positions shifted during the campaign. He’s for public ownership of telecom; his whole development position seems to have changed.”

Goodkind declined to say what he will do next. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m going skiing.”


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Alicia Freese

Alicia Freese

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Alicia Freese is a Seven Days staff writer.

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