(Host) Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy cruised to an easy win over his Republican challenger Jack McMullen. Unofficial returns showed that the five-term incumbent had about 70 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for McMullen. Chris Ericson, the Marijuana Party candidate gained two percent.
Leahy is the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which reviews the president’s judicial appointments. Leahy said the committee will be busy in the next few years, with three and possibly four Supreme Court vacancies possible.
(Leahy) “I think the two hardest things will be the question of vacancies on the Supreme Court, but also how do we get out of Iraq. With all the mistakes that have been made, how do you correct a terrible situation? How do we get out of there without creating more damage in that part of the world, plus ourselves? We lost well over 1,000 brave men and women, American soldiers there. Vermont’s lost more per capita than any other state of the country. Thousands more are grievously injured, blinded paralyzed. A hundred thousand Iraqis have died. We have to find a way to leave it without creating more instability in that part of the world, and ultimately a greater threat to the United States.”
(Dillon) Leahy faced much closer contests earlier in his political life. In his 1974, and again in 1980 he won with under 50 percent of the vote.