MONTPELIER — Democratic Gov. Madeleine Kunin finished first in a three-way race for governor, but she failed to win a majority of the vote and her fate was thrown into the hands of the new state Legislature.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, easily won election to a third term even though he faced Vermont's most popular Republican, former Gov. Richard Snelling.
The victory margin of Kunin, Vermont's first woman governor, appears great enough to ensure her a second term, even though the state Constitution requires the Legislature to decide the contest if no candidate wins more than 50%.
Legislators have said they would support the winner of the popular vote if the margin between the top two vote-getters was more than 2 or 3 percentage points.