Country's Only Socialist Mayor Easily Defeats Six Opponents to Win His Third Term in Vermont City

Associated Press

Bernard Sanders, the nation's only socialist mayor, easily defeated six other candidates Tuesday to win reelection to a third, two-year term.

Sanders, 43, received 5,429 votes, or 55%, while his chief opponent, Democrat Brian Burns, had 3,095 votes with all six wards reporting.

In addition to Sanders' victory, it appeared that his allies were going to gain a majority on the 13-member Board of Aldermen. Sanders' Progressive Coalition had held six seats before Tuesday's vote.

Burns, 45, a former lieutenant governor, said a crowded race and the nationwide economic upswing were the reasons for Sanders' popularity.

Sanders, a Brooklyn native who runs as an independent, shocked Burlington's political establishment in 1981 with a 10-vote victory over a five-term Democratic incumbent. Two members of his Progressive Coalition also won seats in 1981.

As a radical Liberty Union candidate, Sanders ran unsuccessfully in 1972 in a special U.S. Senate election and in a gubernatorial election that same year.

Sanders said his third term will include a "a statewide fight for progressive alternatives" to the property tax.

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