Miro elected mayor

? Miro Weinberger was elected Burlington’s next mayor March 6. ? With nearly 58 percent of the vote, Weinberger defeated Republican Kurt Wright and Independent Wanda Hines, who garnered 37 percent and five percent of the vote respectively. ? This was Wright’s third unsuccessful mayoral bid, and he said it would be his last. ? Weinberger will be the first Democrat to occupy City Hall in more than three decades. ? After the victory was official, Weinberger was received at Nectar’s by a packed house of ecstatic supporters. ? He took the stage to an uproarious crowd chanting, “Let’s go, Miro!” with his wife, daughter, parents and campaign staff standing close behind him. ? Weinberger credited his victory to the more than 350 volunteers that joined his campaign, who made over 45,000 phone calls collectively since Jan. 1 – including 8,500 on Town Meeting Day – and also distributed over 28,000 pieces of campaign literature across the city. ? “It’s only with this type of support that a political outsider with a funny name that no one knew how to pronounce can end up right here tonight,” he said from a podium adorned with his ubiquitous lawn sign. ? Just around the corner at the Scuffer Steak and Ale House, Kurt Wright made his concession speech to a group of onlookers who appeared discouraged. ? “We have run a good campaign; we ran a really positive campaign; I’m proud of the campaign that we ran,” Wright told the crowd.  “Unfortunately, it was not successful. ? “We knew this was a difficult race,” he said, citing Weinberger’s vast financial resources and his virtual political obscurity as tough obstacles for a “Republican in Burlington” to overcome. ? This year’s race was unprecedented in many respects: it was the most expensive, voter turnout was higher than usual and support came from atypical places. ? Fiscal expenditures in this race were unusually high, with Weinberger raising $109,873 and Wright bringing in $48,086, as of Feb. 27. ? Voters turned out at a rate unseen in decades.  In total, 10,100 people cast ballots, representing 39 percent of the city’s active voters.  ? More than 2,100 absentee ballots were cast – also an unusually high number. ? Even Vermont politicians from outside of the Queen City got involved in this year’s election.  ? Gov. Peter Shumlin, as well as Vermont’s national delegation – Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) – endorsed Weinberger and campaigned on his behalf. ? Weinberger’s transition team is hard at work translating his campaign pledges into tangible policies. ? He will replace Progressive Bob Kiss, who did not seek reelection, as mayor on April 2.