[Marxism] Instant Runoff Voting result from Burlington Vermont
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.
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
Curley, an eight-year veteran of the City Council, pointed to his
council experience and promised to balance the budget without a sales
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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