Burlington's Thrilling Mayoral Election

You'd be hard-pressed to find a wackier election than this week's Burlington mayoral race that was conducted using instant-runoff voting. There were five ...
by | March 5, 2009
 

You'd be hard-pressed to find a wackier election than this week's Burlington mayoral race that was conducted using instant-runoff voting. There were five candidates:

-Bob Kiss, the incumbent from the Progressive Party

-Kurt Wright, a Republican

-Andy Montroll, a Democrat

-Dan Smith, an independent

-James Simpson, of the Green Party

Ballot Access News sets the stage:

The election had been considered impossible to predict. The independent candidate, Dan Smith, had raised more money than any other candidate. The Democratic candidate, Andy Montroll, was an incumbent member of the City Council and had been endorsed by Howard Dean and the city's daily newspaper. The Republican nominee, Kurt Wright, was the incumbent president of the city council.

Despite the strong opposition, Kiss ended up winning reelection thanks to instant-runoff voting, as the Burlington Free Press reports:

The initial round had Wright ahead of Kiss 2,951 to 2,585, with Montroll in third place with 2,063, and Smith in fourth with 1,306. Smith and Simpson, with 35 votes, were eliminated after the first IRV round.

In the second round, Montroll gained ground and picked up 491 of Smith's and Simpson's second-choice votes. Kiss gained 396 votes, and Wright, 343. The result left Montroll remaining in third place, eliminating the Democrat.

When the second-choice selections of Montroll's supporters were redistributed, Kiss won 63 percent of the 2,099 votes: 1,332 for Kiss and 767 for Wright.

The result gave Kiss 51.5 percent of the vote. The final unofficial vote count after three rounds of IRV was 4,313 for Kiss and 4,061 for Wright.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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