Associated Press MONTPELIER -- Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell held a tiny lead against challenger T.J. Donovan late Tuesday in their Democratic primary race, but the margin was too small for him to declare victory and the night ended without a winner being chosen.
With 95 percent of the precincts reporting, Sorrell, the incumbent, held a lead of about 2 percentage points over challenger T.J. Donovan, according to unofficial returns.
At about 11 p.m., with just over 40,600 votes cast, the difference between the two candidates was 614 votes.
Meanwhile, Windsor businessman John MacGovern handily defeated Republican primary opponent Brooke Paige in the race to challenge independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in November.
Earlier Tuesday, Secretary of State Jim Condos estimated between 8 percent and 10 percent of the state's 446,000 registered voters would go to the polls. He attributed the sparse interest in the primaries to the lack of high-profile contests. "In all reality the top of the ticket is where the action would be," Condos said.
The race that drew the most outside interest was the Democratic contest for attorney general, pitting Donovan, the Chittenden County state's attorney, against Sorrell.
The attorney general race was the only contest that generated any significant campaigning, with both sides crisscrossing the state and accumulating endorsements from other politicians and newspapers.
Donovan criticized Sorrell on several fronts, including a charge that the incumbent hasn't done a good enough job working with the Legislature to pass strong laws that will hold up in court. Sorrell pointed to what he claimed was a strong record defending the state.
Despite the light turnout, some voters were committed to casting their ballots.
"I vote every time I can and put my foot into the system, even a small foot," said Georgette Putzel, who spoke after leaving Montpelier City Hall, where she had attended a meeting.
Putzel, of Jericho, said she planned to vote for Sorrell.