Joe Magee gets progressive nomination for Burlington Ward 3 Council race
Joe Magee won the Progressive Party’s endorsement for the special election for the Ward 3 of Burlington City Council, scheduled for August 17.
In the final round of the caucus choice voting process, Magee obtained 50.3% of the vote while Julie Macuga followed closely behind with 49.7%. A total of 169 people voted in the nominations caucus.
When voting in order of priority, participants can rank the candidates in order of preference. Through the counting process, the lower performing candidates are eliminated and the votes are redistributed based on a voter’s ranked preference until a person receives 50% or more of the votes.
While Macuga received 61 votes in the first ballot against 55 for Magee, he passed Macuga in the fourth round as the candidates were eliminated and more votes were redistributed. Magee finished with 75 votes against 74 for Macuga.
Magee faced a relatively large field for Progressive Party endorsement in a neighborhood that has been won by members of the Progressive Council since 1981. Ryan Addario, Owen Milne and Chris Haessly were also vying for the nomination, in addition to Macuga.
Magee told VTDigger on Saturday night that he was “very grateful” to the other candidates who entered the race. Magee, who previously worked on the presidential campaigns of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., And as an associate with lobbying firm Necrason Group, said he believed his efforts to knock on doors and call voters from Ward 3 had helped him get the nomination.
“We are going to have a strong campaign, which really fights for progressive values,” he said. “We have a strong message for a living wage and the struggle for the families who work at city hall.”
In a press release issued after Magee’s victory, Burlington Progressive co-chair Annie Schnieder said the party was “delighted” to have a “strong candidate” like Magee.
“We are proud of the robust process that we were able to put in place on a tight deadline with a strong pool of candidates,” Schneider said in the statement. “It is clear that constituents in Ward 3 value a progressive vision for our community.”
Magee will face Milne, who has won Democratic Party approval and is running as an Independent, and Christopher-Aaron Felker, who won the The approval of the Republican Party Friday. The independents have until Monday to submit their candidacy to the town hall.
Milne, the general manager of the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, sees his approach to Ward 3 racing as party neutral and an extension of his commitment to public service. He sits on several community boards, including the State Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities and United Way of Northwest Vermont.
He previously told VTDigger he is running as an independent because he believes the two parties currently represented on the board – Democrats and Progressives – have strong ideas that he wants to support equally.
Felker told Friday’s Republican nominations caucus that he was running in part because he disagreed with the current councilors’ decision-making, even though he believes it is “benevolent” people, according to one report by seven days. He cited the council passing a charter change that would allow the city to regulate carbon use.
He added that he wanted to “unite” the community and focus on improving housing, infrastructure and creating a “positive police policy,” the weekly reported.
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