Scott Milne

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Scott Milne
Scott Milne -- Vermont politician and businessman -- 2017-05-15-3.jpg
Personal details
Scott Edward Milne

(1959-03-10) March 10, 1959 (age 60)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Vermont
University of Redlands (BA)

Scott Edward Milne (born March 10, 1959)[1] is an American businessman from North Pomfret, Vermont. He was the Republican nominee in the United States Senate election of 2016 in Vermont.[2] He was also the Republican nominee in the Vermont gubernatorial election of 2014, an election that he lost to the two-term incumbent Peter Shumlin by less than 1.2% of the vote, the closest gubernatorial election in modern Vermont history.

Early life and education[edit]

Milne was the second of four children born to Donald and Marion Milne in the New York borough of Brooklyn.[1] The family lived in the town of Barre, Vermont until 1964 then moved to the Orange County town of Washington. Their new home, Twin Brook Farm, had been a working sheep farm for much of the 1800s.[3]

His parents started Milne Travel American Express in 1975.[1] Milne himself was entrepreneurial as a child, "from selling newspapers and rabbits as a kid, to painting houses, to promoting concerts...." Additionally he has worked as a farm laborer, construction worker, grocery store clerk, bartender and waiter, political campaign aide, and investigator for a public defender as an unpaid intern.[3]

Business and civic life[edit]

Milne has worked at Milne Travel since the mid-1980. It was started by his parents in 1975. Milne operates the company.[1]

Milne serves as President of the Vermont Society of Travel Agents and as an advisory board member for the Australian company Travcorp. He was an advisory board member of American Express and Avis. He is involved with the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and was president of the Vermont Association of Private and Non-Profit Organizations.

Through Milne Travel, Milne supports more than one hundred civic and non-profit organizations.[3]

Political family[edit]

Milne's paternal grandfather, Henry Milne, served in Vermont's state House representing Barre. He also worked for the late United States Senator George Aiken and as state employment commissioner. His father's cousin, James F. Milne, served as secretary of state from 1995 to 1999.[1]

His father, Don Milne, served one year in the Vermont House. He also worked as an assistant clerk in Vermont's House and Senate, and as House clerk after 1993. He made unsuccessful bids for the Legislature and for state's attorney. He was prior to his death a member of the select board for the town of Washington.[1]

Milne's mother, Marion Milne, served three two-year terms in the state House. In 2000, she cast a vote in favor of civil unions and lost in the primary. Running as an Independent in the general election, she fell short of winning back her seat by a thousand votes.[1]

Political life[edit]

When Milne was nine years old, he went to the Champlain Valley Fair. While there, the 1969 Republican candidate for Vermont governor, Deane Davis, offered him three dollars to put up campaign bumper stickers around the fairgrounds. As a young boy in the 1970s, Milne would hitchhike from Washington, Vermont—where his family lived—to Montpelier, the nearby state capital. Once there he would often ride the elevator of the Pavilion Building to catch a glimpse of then-Democratic governor Tom Salmon.

Milne worked on the 1980 U.S. Senate primary campaign of Republican Stewart Ledbetter, who was defeated by the Democratic incumbent, the still-serving Patrick Leahy. Decades later, he campaigned door-to-door for his mother, Marion, as she fought to retain her legislative seat.[1]

In 2006, Milne lost a bid for a Windsor County House seat by a hundred votes.

Political positions[edit]

Climate change[edit]

In a 2014 debate Scott Milne said that "climate change is a reality…. We want to be responsible citizens, but the government can't be sticking its neck out and getting too far overboard on spending money on this."[4]

2014 Vermont gubernatorial election[edit]

Milne was the Republican nominee for Governor of Vermont in 2014. He finished in second place in the popular vote with 87,075 votes (45.1 percent). Two-time incumbent Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, came in first with 89,509 popular votes (46.4 percent). Libertarian candidate Dan Feliciano earned 8,428 (4.4 percent). Because no candidate received 50 percent of the popular vote, the decision was made in Shumlin's favor by the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate. Milne was slow to concede defeat, noting that 54 percent of Vermonters voted against the incumbent.[5] He later declined a recount request, citing the expected cost to the state.[6]

According to uncertified results, Milne came within 2,434 votes of beating the two-term incumbent Democratic governor. A challenger had not removed an incumbent governor in Vermont since Phil Hoff in 1962 when, riding the popular wave of President John F. Kennedy, he became the first Democratic governor in the state since 1854.[citation needed]

Milne declined to call for a recount of the vote—a right he earned by state law by coming with 2%—saying: "It is extremely unlikely, almost unfathomable, that a recount would put either candidate above the 50 percent mark."[6] With no candidate gaining 50% of the popular vote, the election was decided by the 180 members of the Vermont House and Senate in January 2015.[7]

Vermont gubernatorial election, 2014[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Peter Shumlin 89,509 46.36%
Republican Scott Milne 87,075 45.1%
Libertarian Dan Feliciano 8,428 4.36%
Independent Emily Peyton 3,157 1.64%
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 1,673 0.87%
Independent Bernard Peters 1,434 0.74%
Independent Cris Ericson 1,089 0.56%
Independent Write-ins 722 0.37%
Total votes 193,087 100.00%

While Shumlin had earned a greater share of the popular vote, Milne had won more districts.[9]

Determining winner[edit]

With no candidate receiving a majority of the vote, the Vermont General Assembly decided the election by secret ballot January 8, 2015.[10] Milne lost to Shumlin. Milne had said that if Shumlin won a plurality, he would support him, expecting Shumlin to do the same if the situation were reversed.[11]

The Assembly most recently reversed a plurality vote in the 1976 lieutenant gubernatorial election, when Democrat John Alden was "bypassed" in favor of Republican T. Garry Buckley.[12]

2014 Gubernatorial Election Results, Legislative Joint Assembly
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Peter Shumlin 110 61.5%
Republican Scott Milne 69 38.5%
Total votes 179 100.00%

2016 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Milne ran in the 2016 U.S. Senate election in Vermont. He was the only declared Republican candidate.[13][14] Milne faced seven-term Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy as well as three minor party candidates. He lost the election, receiving 32% of the vote.

United States Senate election in Vermont, 2016[15][16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Patrick Leahy (incumbent) 192,243 59.99% -3.05%
Republican Scott Milne 103,637 32.34% +2.08%
Marijuana Cris Ericson 9,156 2.86% +1.76%
Independent Jerry Trudell 5,223 1.63% N/A
Liberty Union Peter Diamondstone 3,241 1.01% 0.40%
Write-ins 309 0.10% N/A
Spoiled votes 466 0.15% N/A
Blank votes 6,192 1.93% N/A
Majority 88,606 27.65%
Total votes 320,467 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

Personal life[edit]

Milne resides in the unincorporated community of North Pomfret, Vermont, located within the town of Pomfret, and is a divorced father of two grown children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hallenbeck, Terri (October 28, 2014). "Scott Milne: A complicated candidate". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  2. ^ Ledbetter, Stewart. "Milne enters U.S. Senate race, makes Leahy incumbency an issue". WPTZ. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "Biography". Milne for Vermont. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  4. ^ Heintz, Paul. "Seven Takeaways From VPR's Gubernatorial Debate". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "MILNE CALLS SHUMLIN'S CLAIM OF VICTORY PREMATURE". Rutland Herald. November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Burbank, April (November 12, 2014). "Shumlin leads in final tally, Milne declines recount". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  7. ^ Heintz, Paul (November 12, 2014). "Close Call: Seven Reasons Shumlin Nearly Lost". Seven Days. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Unofficial Results - General Election - November 4, 2014". Vermont Secretary of State. November 8, 2014. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  9. ^ Krantz, Laura (November 6, 2014). "MILNE EXPLORING ALL OPTIONS". VTDigger. Retrieved November 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "Shumlin defeats Milne in Legislature governor vote". Burlington Free Press. January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  11. ^ "Plurality or politics?". Barre Montpelier Times Argus. November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  12. ^ "Close election recalls recent recounts". The Burlington Free Press. November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Heintz, Paul (October 5, 2015). "Scott Milne Considers Challenging Patrick Leahy". Seven Days. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  14. ^ Gram, Dave (May 26, 2016). "Milne hopes to unseat Sen. Leahy". The Burlington Free Press. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  15. ^ "Vermont Election Results". Burlington Free Press.
  16. ^ "Official Results - General Election - November 8, 2016". Vermont Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2016.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Randy Brock
Republican nominee for Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Phil Scott
Preceded by
Len Britton
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Vermont
(Class 3)

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