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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Opinion
Walters: VTGOP Cobbles Together a Ticket

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 11:21 PM

Rick Kenyon, Richard Morton, Rep. Janssen Willhoit, Anya Tynio and Lawrence Zupan - JOHN WALTERS
  • John Walters
  • Rick Kenyon, Richard Morton, Rep. Janssen Willhoit, Anya Tynio and Lawrence Zupan
The Vermont Republican Party's state committee approved a slate of nominees for statewide office at a not-very-democratic special meeting Wednesday night in Montpelier. The meeting was necessitated after political gadfly H. Brooke Paige ran for, and won, six separate Republican nominations in the August 14 primary — for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer.

Last Friday, Paige withdrew from every nomination except secretary of state. The VTGOP had to choose new nominees by August 31, the state's deadline for adding candidates to the November ballot. Only members of the Republican state committee were eligible to vote.

After an hour of wrangling over the rules, the committee quickly filled the available slots. Two men faced off for U.S. Senate: Manchester real estate broker Lawrence Zupan and Dan Feliciano, a 2016 Republican candidate for auditor who also ran for governor in 2014, as a Libertarian. Zupan bested Feliciano 56 votes to 12. (One vote was cast for "Douglas," an apparent reference to former governor Jim Douglas.) Zupan will now challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

"I'm going to invite Sen. Sanders to have eight debates with me," Zupan said when asked how he would take on a very popular and deep-pocketed incumbent. "I think the people of Vermont miss Bernie. He's been everyplace but Vermont, it seems, and I'd like to invite him to revisit the state that launched his political career."

Zupan depicted Sanders as a "socialist" with "a complete misunderstanding of how the world works and how economics works. It's a pity that he doesn't love the American Revolution as much as he loves his imaginary new revolution."

Anya Tynio, 25, a sales representative for the Newport Daily Express, won the nod for U.S. representative on a voice vote. Tynio had been a candidate in the Republican primary, but lost to Paige. She will face U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). If she wins, she would be the first woman elected to Congress by the state of Vermont, but she faces long odds against a popular incumbent.

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