[Marxism] Instant Runoff Voting result from Burlington Vermont

Brian Shannon brian_shannon at verizon.net
Wed Mar 8 22:34:28 MST 2006


Progressive Bob Kiss elected mayor of Burlington

By John Briggs
Burlington Free Press Staff Writer

March 8, 2006
Bob Kiss, a Progressive state representative but a newcomer to city  
politics, was elected mayor of Burlington on Tuesday, defeating  
Republican City Councilor Kevin Curley and Democratic state Sen.  
Hinda Miller.

The election marked the first in the city's history in which instant  
runoff voting was employed, and Kiss was awarded the victory only  
after the votes of runners-up in the five-way race were redistributed.

The vote, after second-choice ballots were counted, was 4,761 for  
Kiss and 3,986 for Miller. Curley received 2,609 votes in the first  
round. Independents Louie "The Cowman" Beaudin and Loyal Ploof had  
119 and 57 votes, respectively.
. . .
Kiss's voice never varied during the campaign. The 58-year-old former  
anti-poverty agency executive exuded a calm confidence that  
ultimately persuaded voters to continue for three more years the  
Progressive tradition that began with Bernie Sanders' election in 1981.
. . .
None of the candidates initially reached the 50 percent plus one vote  
level necessary for victory under Burlington's new system of electing  
a mayor. Kiss had 39 percent, Miller 31 percent and Curley 26 percent.

Because no candidate had won a majority, the instant runoff voting  
system came into play. In the equivalent of a runoff election, the  
second choices of Curley, Ploof and the Beaudin supporters were  
distributed to Kiss and Miller. That second round gave Kiss an  
additional 952 votes and Miller an additional 880 and pushed Kiss  
over the top.

At Vermont Pub and Brewery, Miller said she had no comment. Christine  
Salembier, her campaign manager, also declined comment.

Miller began her campaign in September and outspent Kiss 8-1, but in  
the end, her support waned. She carried the endorsements of former  
Govs. Howard Dean and Madeleine Kunin and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy --  
all Democrats -- and Mayor Peter Clavelle. She pointed to her years  
of corporate experience with the sportswear company Jogbra and  
promised to make the city a magnet for entrepreneurs and small  
businesses.

Curley, an eight-year veteran of the City Council, pointed to his  
council experience and promised to balance the budget without a sales  
tax.

All three candidates said they were committed to creating new jobs  
and more affordable housing in the city.

One effect of the five-way race and instant runoff voting is that  
Kiss will take office as the first choice of only 39 percent of  
Burlington voters. As mayor he will step into a maelstrom of  
competing needs: wage and benefit demands of city workers,  
infrastructure expenses, insistence from the city's poorer residents  
for the creation of local jobs paying livable wages and more  
affordable housing, and vastly different visions of the city's future  
from pro- and anti-growth advocates.

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