In Referendum on Refugees, Vermont Mayor Loses Reelection Bid

Rutland Mayor Chris Louras, who endured months of withering criticism for his plan to bring Syrian refugees to the city, lost his reelection bid on Tuesday.

In unofficial voting results, David Allaire, a city alderman and leading critic of the resettlement, trounced Louras, a 10-year mayoral incumbent, by a 776-vote margin, according to results cited by the Rutland Herald and WCAX-TV.

“I’m simply wishing him luck and I’m moving on,” Louras told Seven Days Tuesday night. He declined further comment, saying he would “not hazard a guess” as to what the election results say about Rutland’s support for refugees.

Allaire did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

While Louras campaigned on a series of issues, and touted a reduction in many categories of crime, along with an improved downtown business district, the refugee debate has dominated political life in Rutland for the past year.

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