PHOTO FINISH: Election night leaves hot races too tight to call.
NEWPORT, VT - It was a nailbiter, and even with most of the votes in, the unofficial tallies made it too close to call in several local hot races last night.In the race for Orleans-Essex Senate seat, incumbent Democrat Bobby Starr pulled ahead but Rep. Bob Lewis and former Rep. John Rodgers were hot on his heels. It looked like a race for second with Republican Jay Dudley trailing far behind. In the Orleans-Lamoille House Race, Progressive challenger Katherine Sims looked to overtake incumbent Rep. Mark Higley, Republican.And in the race for Vermont Auditor, outgoing Sen. Vince Illuzzi was trailing Democrat Doug Hoffer by about 8,000 votes.Orleans District 2 looked like an easier race to call with on-going favorite Mike Marcotte taking an easy lead. The second seat appeared to be a tighter race between incumbent Republican Duncan Kilmartin and newcomer Tim de la Bruere, although Kilmartin made a strong showing. Mayor Paul Monette who, like de la Bruere, had entered the race as an Independent, trailed, but not by much.After long-time Orleans-Essex Senator Vince Illuzzi, a Republican, decided to seek the office of Vermont State Auditor, an opening was created in one of the two senate district seats. Lewis' decision to seek the senate position left an opening for a representative for Orleans 1, a two-seat district. Incumbent Lynn Batchelor of Derby Line ran unopposed, and former Rep. Loren Shaw was the only individual in Derby seeking the open position. County Republicans spent election night at the Eastside Restaurant. They watched local, state and national results on large screen televisions. By 9 p.m., numbers were trickling in.In the meantime, it appeared that incumbent Gov. Peter Shumlin handily defeated Randy Brock, at least according to some media outlets. However, it appeared Brock seemed to have done well in the Northeast Kingdom. Spirits among the GOP candidates appeared to be high despite early projections that President Barack Obama easily took the Battleground States of Florida and Ohio and appeared on his way towards winning re-election.Democrats gathered at Parker Pie in Glover, which was soon the happening place to be.Tallies will be published as they become available.Christopher Roy, Laura Carpenter, Ed Barber and Susan Davis contributed to this article.