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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders won Vermont’s Democratic Senate primary on Tuesday but was expected to turn down the nomination, as he did in his previous campaigns, and support other Democratic candidates.

In Tuesday’s Democratic balloting, Sanders defeated little-known candidate Folasade Adeluola, who said she believes Vermont needs a full-time senator.

There were four little-known candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in a primary contest that was too close to call.

Sanders, long one of Vermont’s most popular politicians, is thought to be considering a presidential run in 2020 and already is on Vermont’s November ballot as an independent.

Under Vermont law he cannot appear on the November ballot as both a Democrat and an independent. In his previous Senate races, in 2012 and 2006, he declined the Democratic nomination but accepted the formal endorsement of the state’s Democratic Party.

“That is what he has done in the past, and that is what he looks forward to happening in 2018,” Sanders campaign spokeswoman Arianna Jones said. “As he has for many campaigns, Bernie will contribute to and participate in the Vermont Democratic coordinated campaign.”

Sanders’ long-time political adviser, Jeff Weaver, said the Sanders campaign is donating $150,000 to the Vermont Democratic Party.

Adeluola, of Shelburne, moved to Vermont last year from Indiana. She is already listed as an independent on the November ballot.

H. Brooke Paige, a perennial Republican candidate, held a narrow lead over Lawrence Zupan, a Manchester-area real estate broker with experience in international trade who argues Sanders’ policies hinder growth. Paige also ran for the GOP nomination for the U.S. House and won that contest Tuesday.

Paige says the state needs to “find a pathway back to the values of self-determination and community for all.”

Trailing were Jasdeep Pannu, an attorney who is proposing a two-year maternity leave and replacing the Drug Enforcement Administration with a child trafficking enforcement agency; and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a San Diego businessman on the ballot in five other states: California, Florida, Minnesota, Washington and Wisconsin.


This story has been corrected to show the candidate’s name is Brooke, not Brook.