1991 Burlington mayoral election

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1991 Burlington mayoral election
← 1989 March 3, 1991 1993 →
 
Nominee Peter Clavelle Haik Bedrosian Daniel Gregory
Party Progressive Coalition Independent Independent
Popular vote 6,162 865 522
Percentage 77.96% 10.94% 6.60%

1991 Burlington, Vermont mayoral election by city council district.svg
Results by city council district
Clavelle:
  Clavelle: 70–80%
  Clavelle: 80–90%

Mayor of Burlington before election

Peter Clavelle
Independent

Elected Mayor of Burlington

Peter Clavelle
Progressive Coalition

The 1991 Burlington mayoral election was held on March 3, 1991 to elect the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Incumbent independent Mayor Peter Clavelle ran as the candidate of the Progressive Coalition,[1] and defeated Haik Bedrosian, Daniel Gregory, and Michael Hackett, who all ran as independent candidates. The Democratic and Republican parties did not run candidates in this election.

Clavelle faced no opposition for the endorsement of the Progressive Coalition. The Democratic and Republican parties did not run candidates in the election with the Democrats stating that there were no viable candidates against Clavelle and the Republicans having nobody who could commit to the campaign. Haik Bedrosian, Daniel Gregory, and Michael Hackett ran as independent candidates.

Clavelle won in the general election with over seventy percent of the popular vote, but the Democratic Party, which had focused on the city council elections, gained two seats. Voter turnout for this election was the lowest since the 1981 election.

Background

Peter Clavelle won the 1989 mayoral election as an independent candidate with the support of the Progressive Coalition.[2][3] At the time of the 1991 mayoral election the composition of the city council was five Progressive Coalition members, four Democratic members, and four Republican members.[4]

Campaign

Candidates

Democratic

Judith Stephany, who was the Democratic nominee in the 1983 mayoral election and Maurice Mahoney, a member of the city council from the 1st district, were speculated as possible candidates for the Democratic nomination. David W. Curtis, the chair of the Burlington Democratic Party, stated that the Democrats would run a candidate in the mayoral election.[5][6] However, on January 23, 1991, the Democratic caucus did not nominate a candidate and a motion by Ion Laskaris to not run a candidate was approved. Laskaris stated that there were no candidates that could defeat Clavelle. The Democratic Party decided to not endorse Clavelle.[7] The Democrats instead focused on winning control of the city council.[8]

Progressive Coalition

Terry Bouricius, co-chair of the Progressive Coalition, stated that there was no interest within the coalition to primary Clavelle and he also stated that Clavelle "did not run just to run for one term". Nancy Chioffi, who was the 1989 Democratic mayoral nominee, stated that Clavelle was enjoying the position of mayor and that she would be "amazed if he didn't run".[9] Clavelle announced on December 17, 1990, that he would run for reelection and that he would seek the endorsement of the coalition.[10] Clavelle won the endorsement of the coalition on December 19, with a unanimous vote.[11] Clavelle focused on the passage of ballot propositions of a 6.5 cent tax increase per $100 property value for school funding and a $1 million bond to expand two elementary schools.[12]

Republican

The Republican Party, which had not run a candidate in the 1985, 1987, and 1989 elections, chose to not run a candidate in the election at its caucus on January 25. Bob Minkewicz, the chair of the Burlington Republican Party, stated that nobody could commit to running a campaign against Clavelle.[13][14][15][16]

Other

Haik Bedrosian, a senior at Burlington High School, announced on January 22, 1991, that he would run for mayor as an independent candidate stating that he wanted to empower the youth and increase youth representation in office and due to the fact that there were no other candidates in the race. Clavelle welcomed Bedrosian and stated that he would not be "running against Haik or any other candidate", but instead running on "a record and a vision of the future".[17] Daniel Gregory announced on January 28, that he would run as an independent.[1] Michael Hackett, who had unsuccessfully run for office fifteen times, ran as an independent candidate.[18]

General election

Bedrosian called for Clavelle, Gregory, and Hackett to agree to a campaign finance limit of $5,000. Gregory did not agree to the limit, but stated that he would spend that much during the campaign.[19] During the campaign there was one event where the mayoral candidates gave statements and answered questions and two debates.[20][21]

Clavelle won the election against Bedrosian, Gregory, and Hackett. Although Hackett lost the mayoral election he narrowly defeated David L.R. Houston, an incumbent member of the school commission from the 3rd district, by three votes.[18] The mayoral election had a voter turnout of 36% which was the lowest turnout for a mayoral election since 1981.[22] The Democrats gained two seats on the city council from the Republicans bringing the composition of the thirteen-member city council to five Progressive Coalition members, six Democratic members, and two Republican members.[23][24]

Results

1991 Burlington mayoral election[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Coalition Peter Clavelle (incumbent) 6,162 77.96% +24.2%
Independent Haik Bedrosian 865 10.94% +10.94%
Independent Daniel Gregory 522 6.60% +6.60%
Independent Michael Hackett 355 4.49% +3.63%
Total votes 7,904 100.00%

Results by ward before recount

Ward Clavelle Votes Bedrosian Votes Gregory Votes Hackett Votes Total votes[25] Votes
Ward 1 82.51% 722 8.91% 78 5.37% 47 3.20% 28 100.00% 875
Ward 2 80.98% 681 30.97% 73 5.59% 47 4.76% 40 100.00% 841
Ward 3 80.74% 943 7.62% 89 5.91% 69 5.74% 67 100.00% 1,168
Ward 4 71.93% 1,840 15.44% 395 8.25% 211 4.38% 112 100.00% 2,558
Ward 5 79.48% 1,046 9.35% 123 6.08% 80 5.09% 67 100.00% 1,316
Ward 6 81.15% 930 9.34% 107 5.93% 68 3.58% 41 100.00% 1,146

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Independent joins mayoral race". The Burlington Free Press. January 30, 1991. p. 15. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. "1989 election results". The Burlington Free Press. March 9, 1989. p. 14. Archived from the original on June 9, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Clavelle wins Progressive nod". The Burlington Free Press. December 9, 1988. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 10, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. "Clavelle Faces Only Splintered Opposition". Rutland Herald. February 16, 1991. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. "Mayoral race slow developing 2". The Burlington Free Press. November 19, 1990. p. 13. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. "Rep. Stephany Is Democratic Candidate for Mayor". The Burlington Free Press. January 19, 1983. p. 9. Archived from the original on December 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. "Democrats won't field mayoral candidate". The Burlington Free Press. January 24, 1991. p. 9. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. "Democrats may control council again". The Burlington Free Press. February 27, 1991. p. 5. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. "Mayoral race slow developing". The Burlington Free Press. November 19, 1990. p. 11. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. "Clavelle will seek 2nd term". The Burlington Free Press. December 18, 1990. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. "Clavelle wins nod for election". The Burlington Free Press. December 20, 1990. p. 3. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. "Burlington mayor says schools need tax money the most". The Burlington Free Press. January 16, 1991. p. 14. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. "Brian Burns Gets Democrats' Nod". The Burlington Free Press. January 24, 1985. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. "Issues, Images Highlight City Mayor Race". The Burlington Free Press. January 25, 1987. p. 17. Archived from the original on December 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. "GOP supports Northgate tenants". The Burlington Free Press. January 25, 1989. p. 6. Archived from the original on June 10, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. "GOP has no takers for School Board". The Burlington Free Press. January 26, 1991. p. 15. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. "Burlington senior to challenge Clavelle in election". The Burlington Free Press. January 23, 1991. p. 17. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Longtime candidate wins school board seat". The Burlington Free Press. March 7, 1991. p. 14. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. "Mayoral candidate seeks campaign spending limit". The Burlington Free Press. February 6, 1991. p. 18. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. "Meet Candidates". The Burlington Free Press. February 21, 1991. p. 11. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. "Briefs". The Burlington Free Press. February 28, 1991. p. 9. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. "Progressives flex muscles in City Hall". The Burlington Free Press. March 8, 1991. p. 17. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. "Democrats gain two council seats". The Burlington Free Press. March 6, 1991. p. 3. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. "Watson wins Ward 5 City Council seat in runoff". The Burlington Free Press. March 27, 1991. p. 6. Archived from the original on June 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. Statement of Votes Annual City Meeting (Report). Burlington, Vermont. March 5, 1991. p. 1.