2000 Vermont gubernatorial election
Dean: 40–50% 50–60%
Dwyer: 40-50% 50-60%
The 2000 Vermont gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2000. Incumbent Democratic Governor Howard Dean won re-election. The campaign was dominated by the fallout from the passage of a civil union bill and the subsequent backlash encapsulated by the slogan Take Back Vermont. Ruth Dwyer, the Republican nominee in 1998, ran again in 2000 and was closely tied to the Take Back Vermont movement. Howard Dean, the Democratic governor, favored civil unions and was a primary target of Take Back Vermont.
Progressive Anthony Pollina's candidacy nearly succeeded in holding Dean to less that 50 percent, which would have required the Vermont General Assembly to choose a winner. In such races, the joint meeting of the Vermont House and Senate almost always chooses the candidate who received the highest number of votes, but Republicans took control of the Vermont House in 2001, which might have resulted in a contested election.