Representative Bill Lippert, Democrat, Hinesburg, will keep his seat in the House.
The incumbent bested Sarah Toscano, a Republican from Hinesburg 1,974-963.
“I’m very pleased and grateful for the high level of support that I received from the people of the town of Hinesburg in the election yesterday,” Lippert said, reached by phone the morning after the election.
“It sounds like a cliche, but it truly is an honor and a privilege to represent the folks of Hinesburg in the Legislature.”
Lippert has served in the House since 1994, when he was appointed by Gov. Howard Dean. In that time, he has spent about 10 years as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Last session, he served on the House Committee on Health Care, which he has chaired since 2015.
Lippert is among the first openly gay legislators in Vermont and is a longtime advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peoples’ rights.
In 1992 he founded the Samara Foundation of Vermont, where he worked from 1997-2007. That organization, now called the Samara Fund for LGBT Vermonters.
Lippert also co-founded the nonprofit Outright Vermont, which has the mission of “building a Vermont where all LGBTQ+ youth have hope, equity, and power,” according to the organization’s website.
“I’m absolutely proud to claim that work that I’ve done, and I am very proud of it and it has been significant. But I’ve also played key roles in other important issues as well as,” he said.
He is also proud of his contributions to collecting race data to document and acknowledge systemic racism in the state. He is also proud of his work to protect children from child sexual abuse.
Lippert’s background is in mental health, having worked for 27 years with the Counseling Service of Addison County, 10 of which he served as its director.
This session he hopes to continue his work around health care.
“I would be able to continue to lead the health care committee. This is a very challenging time for health care and if there’s not a change in Washington D.C. it’s going to be even more challenging,” he said.
Lippert spent 12 hours outside the polls in Hinesburg on Election Day. It’s a time he jokingly calls office hours, when he can speak with constituents and hear what’s on their minds.
It was also a chance to spend time with his opponent, Toscano. While the two have significant differences in political philosophy, they have a respectful and cordial relationship, Lippert said.
“I look forward to continuing to do the work on behalf of Hinesburg. It’s a fabulous community. Hinesburg is a community that’s very easy to be very proud of,” he said.