Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday afternoon told reporters that he cast his vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat, a line other Republican governors — even others critical of President Donald Trump — haven’t been willing to cross.
Scott’s own ticket mate, Scott Milne, said he voted for Jim Douglas, a former Republican governor who is not running for office.
The governor cast his vote at 4 p.m. at the Berlin municipal offices.
“I had to do some soul-searching,” Scott told reporters after voting. “It wasn’t enough for me to not vote. I had to vote against.”
“I had to put country before party, which wasn’t an easy thing to do in some respects,” he added. “You know President Trump has had four years to unite this country and has failed to do so, and that’s my biggest concern, that we need someone who can pull us together,” Scott said.
Scott said that he disagreed with Biden on many policies,“but I think he can heal this country; I think he can bring us together.”
And Scott said that if Biden wins the election, it will be thanks to moderates and centrists like him.
“Our country needs to heal, and I’m very concerned about what another four years will do to our country.”
The governor said at a press conference Friday that he had finally made up his mind on the presidential race, but would not reveal his vote until after he cast his ballot.
Scott did not vote for Trump in 2016 either. He endorsed Bill Weld, a former Massachusetts governor, in the 2020 Republican presidential primary.
The Vermont Democratic Party criticized Scott for taking so long to make a decision.
“While we are happy that Phil Scott has finally seen the light on the afternoon of Election Day and has cast a vote for Joe Biden, we are left to ask ourselves what took him so long?” the party’s press secretary Victoria Moon said in a statement. “In the most critical election of our lifetime, this was not a tough decision and he should have known to vote for Vice President Biden long ago.”
Scott’s decision to cross party lines and vote for Biden sets him apart from other prominent Republicans in governor’s offices and on Capitol Hill. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow moderate Republican, voted for former President Ronald Reagan, who is dead.
Scott skipped his administration’s regular Tuesday press conference today “in deference to the election,” according to a spokesperson.
Unlike the Vermont Democratic Party, which has organized music and speeches for a Zoom election night party, there are no plans for a statewide GOP event this evening.
Scott’s campaign said he will release a video following the results.