BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Voters are deciding Tuesday whether to elect U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ stepdaughter as mayor of Vermont’s largest city, where Sanders got his political start.
Carina Driscoll, a former state legislator, school commissioner and city council member, is running for Burlington mayor against Democratic incumbent Miro Weinberger and fellow independent Infinite Culcleasure, a political newcomer.
When Driscoll announced her run for mayor, Sanders said he and his wife, Jane, were proud of her and all her accomplishments and wanted to be respectful of her desire to do this on her own. Sanders’ son, Levi Sanders, also has entered politics. He announced last week that he’s running for a U.S. House seat representing New Hampshire.
Driscoll, 43, who has the backing of the Progressive Party, said the city under Weinberger has worked hard to accommodate private investment, such as the redevelopment of a downtown mall, rather than focusing on what residents want.
Weinberger, 48, who is seeking his third three-year term, said voters have had the ultimate say in most major initiatives and that his office has turned around Burlington’s troubled financial past, worked to rebuild public trust and made improvements to the northern waterfront and other projects.
Outside a polling place at Edmunds School on Tuesday afternoon, Christopher Ward said he voted for Weinberger.
“In my opinion he inherited a pretty broken fiscal situation with the city when he took over,” Ward said. “He’s got the city back on budget, he’s gotten a lot more improvements done, a lot more fiscal restraint on the city and I’d like to see what else he can do with another few more years.”
Lisa Thompson said it was time for a change and chose Driscoll.
“I’d like to see a little bit more sustainability built up around here,” she said. “I think that we have too many younger people that don’t have the opportunity to get a job, to afford to live here.”