Vermont Governor Election Results 2016: Republican Phil Scott clinches win
The home of Senator Bernie Sanders has elected a Republican to its statehouse on Election Day: Peter Scott beat out Democrat Sue Minter, the Associated Press reported at 11:37 p.m. Eastern Tuesday.
The state's 465,000 registered voters headed into election day expecting a close race, with polls showing a dead heat or a slight edge for Scott. Shortly before midnight, NPR reported Scott at 53% to Minter's 44%.
While Sanders' progressive political positions may make some see Vermont as extremely liberal, the state's voters have an independent streak. Vermonters only narrowly reelected Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin in 2014. And longtime Senator Patrick Leahy is the only Democrat Vermont has ever sent to the U.S. Senate. — Sanders is an independent representative for the state.
Still, the state has clearly leaned left: It has given its 3 electoral votes to the Democratic presidential nominee in each election since 1992. Spending in the gubernatorial race set a state record by exceeding $10 million.
As governor, Scott will face a bevy of critical issues, including balancing the state budget, deciding whether to enact the "all-payer" healthcare system and growing a struggling state economy.
This story will be updated throughout the day. Check back for the latest election results.