Vermont Campaign Finance: 3. Campaign Spending in Vermont 2016


How much money do our elected representatives spend to get a job in the government?

The Informed Vermonter has looked at campaign finance reports required under both federal and state law to get a sense for the level of spending in a typical Vermont election cycle.

Spending for the federal representatives and statewide officials elected in 2016 are outlined below.

Direct Campaign Spending: 2016 Election


Candidate Office 2016 Expenditures Source
Patrick Leahy US Senate $3,203,224 Federal Election Commission
Peter Welch US House of Representatives $779,036 Federal Election Commission
Phil Scott Governor $1,629,563 Vt. Secretary of State
Sue Minter Governor $2,042,015 Vt. Secretary of State
David Zuckerman Lt. Governor $343,703 Vt. Secretary of State
T.J. Donovan Attorney General $294,364 Vt. Secretary of State
Beth Pearce Treasurer $21,244 Vt. Secretary of State
Jim Condos Secretary of State $11,126 Vt. Secretary of State
Doug Hoffer Auditor $6,111 Vt. Secretary of State


With the exception of Sue Minter, all of the candidates listed above won their elections. There were many other opposing candidates both in primaries and the general election who also spent a fair amount of money on campaigns, so the total money spent on federal and statewide elections is much greater than the sum of the amounts listed above.

Candidates for state General Assembly seats also spend money. To get a feel for the magnitudes, The Informed Vermonter looked at a random sample of winning Senate and House candidates.

Direct Campaign Spending: 2016 Election


Candidate Office 2016 Expenditures
Tim Ash Senate: Chittenden $11,141
Joe Benning Senate: Caledonia $1,755
Christopher Bray Senate: Addison $6,998
Brian Campion Senate: Bennington $3,272
Mark MacDonald Senate: Orange $6,457
Fred Baser Representative: Addison $7,318
Mary Howard Representative,: Rutland $6,819
Robert Hubert Representative: Chittenden $475
Ben Jickling Representative: Orange-Washington-Addison $7,450
Carolyn Partridge Representative: Windham $1,752

Source: Vermont Secretary of State, Final 2016 Campaign Finance Reports

The random sample above suggests an average campaign spend of about $5,000 for each winning candidate for the General Assembly. With 180 winning candidates and over 100 loosing candidates, the total spend for Vermont’s General Assembly election must be well in excess of $1million.

Super Pac’s in Vermont

All the amounts outlined above are direct campaign expenditures. There is also “indirect” campaign spending by Super Pac’s that is not specifically affiliated with any single candidate of political party.

Based on Campaign Finance Reports filed with the Vermont Secretary of State, it appears that five Super Pac’s contributed large amounts of money to the 2016 Vermont election, most of which for mass media advertising.

Disclosed Vermont Super Pac Spending: 2016 Election


Super Pac Affiliation/Cause Expenditures
A Stronger Vermont Republican Governors Association $3,019,000
Our Vermont Democratic Governors Association $1,397,653
Planned Parenthood Pro Abortion $458,973
Vermont Conservation Voters Action Fund Environmentalists $307,512

Source: Vermont Secretary of State, Final 2016 Campaign Finance Reports



  1. At a time that Vermonters are struggling to pay bills, these guys are given a lot of money to side with whom so ever gives them the most.


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