Carina Driscoll was defeated by incumbent Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, a Democrat who won re-election to a third, three-year term. Fellow independent Infinite Culcleasure came in third.
Driscoll, 43, a former state legislator, school commissioner and city council member, had said the city under Weinberger catered to private investment rather than advocate for the residents' vision of the municipality.
Weinberger said voters have had the ultimate say in most major initiatives and that his office has turned around Burlington's troubled financial past, worked to rebuild public trust and made improvements to the northern waterfront and other projects.
Outside a polling place at Edmunds School on Tuesday afternoon, Christopher Ward said he voted for Weinberger.
"In my opinion, he inherited a pretty broken fiscal situation with the city when he took over," Ward said. "He's got the city back on budget, he's gotten a lot more improvements done, a lot more fiscal restraint on the city and I'd like to see what else he can do with another few more years."
Lisa Thompson said it was time for a change and chose Driscoll.
"I'd like to see a little bit more sustainability built up around here," she said. "I think that we have too many younger people that don't have the opportunity to get a job, to afford to live here."
Driscoll said she first met Sanders when she was a child and he was giving a speech days after being elected mayor of Burlington in 1981, upsetting the status quo.
Sanders' son, Levi Sanders, also is trying to enter politics. He announced last week that he is running for a U.S. House seat representing New Hampshire.
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