Sunday, December 24
MONTPELIER — Democrat Thomas M. Salmon was declared the winner of the recount in the state auditor's race Thursday by Washington Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout, overturning what had appeared to be incumbent Auditor Randy Brock's re-election.

Teachout declared Salmon the victor by 102 votes after reviewing the results of a hand recount of the ballots by county clerks. She also added a few votes to each candidate's vote totals after reviewing "questionable" ballots in which voters' intents were not immediately clear.

"It's a great honor. I'm humbled," Salmon immediately after the judge ruled.

The secretary of state's office certified Brock the winner by 137 votes a week after the election after tallying each town clerk's votes. Salmon asked for a recount and it turned out that some of his votes had been mistakenly attributed to Liberty Union candidate Jerry Levy on the first count.

Brock distributed a statement to reporters in the courtroom congratulating Salmon and pledging to cooperate with him during the truncated transition. Statewide officers are inaugurated Jan. 4.

"We are now at the end of a long and painstaking process that is an essential element in our democracy," Brock said. "The very closeness of this race — I am told the closest statewide election in Vermont history — reinforces to all of us how precious and how important is each and every vote."

Salmon, Brock and Progressive Party candidate Martha Abbott pored over contested ballots in the Montpelier courtroom with their lawyers. Salmon was represented by his father, Thomas P. Salmon, who was Vermont governor in the early 1970s.