Socialist Bernard Sanders says his ouster of a Republican congressman may be the start of a revolution.
"One small state might go down in history as the leader in the fight for a political revolution . . . which takes power away from the multinational corporations and the wealthy and gives it back to the people where it belongs," Sanders told wildly jubilant supporters after his victory Tuesday.With his smashing win over freshman incumbent Peter Smith in the race for Vermont's lone congressional seat, Sanders becomes the first socialist in Congress in more than 60 years. He ran as an independent.
Smith's campaign went into a nosedive after he was the first rank-and-file member of the Congress to publicly support the original federal budget reduction proposal.
"My opponent has been able to ride a rising tide of frustration in government," a grim-faced Smith said after his concession.
Sanders received 117,374 votes (56 percent), compared to Smith's 83,774 votes (40 percent).
Former Gov. Richard Snelling, a Republican, regained his old office by fighting off a strong showing by Democrat Peter Welch, a former state senator who had endorsed Sanders.
Snelling, referring to Sanders' victory, said: "As you know, tonight there's a storm raging out there. But some of us are good sailors and we will see this through."
Snelling, who was governor 1977-85, decided to seek the office again because he believed his successor, Gov. Madeleine Kunin, a Democrat, had mismanaged the state's finances. Kunin did not seek a fourth term.