Write-in candidate loses narrowly in gov. primary

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Secretary of State’s office has given a 17-vote victory to Martha Abbott in the Progressive Party primary for governor, but Abbott has withdrawn from the race.
Official results released Tuesday by the office show Abbott beating write-in candidate Annette Smith by a margin of 371 to 354. Abbott says she ran just to have the party maintain control of its ballot. She announced she’s withdrawing as a candidate and that the party will not field a candidate for governor.
Some of Smith’s supporters are questioning the vote-counting in individual towns. Smith supporter Stephanie Kaplan says the close result may trigger a challenge or a request for a recount.
Smith is the head of the group Vermonters for a Clean Environment and has criticized Gov. Peter Shumlin’s environmental policies.

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