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Partly because of a split left (the state has a strong Progressive Party), Vermont, the nation's most Democratic state, has been governed by a Republican the last 7 years. That streak is about to end.

Gov. Jim Douglas announced today he will not run for re-election in 2010, ending his time as governor at four two-year terms.

At a morning news conference at the Statehouse, Douglas said that after 36 years in the political spotlight, it was time to start a new chapter in his life.

The 58-year-old Republican said he wouldn’t run for a fifth two-year term next year and had no plans to seek other elected office.

National Republicans hoped to lure him into the 2010 Senate or, more realistically, the state's at-large House race, but Douglas appears to be walking away.

"After 36 years as a public servant, 28 of those years in statewide office, with what will be eight years as governor, and through 15 statewide elections, I will have held center stage long enough for anybody."

Republicans are an endangered species in the Northeast, and Douglas' exit makes their predicament much more dire.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Aug 27, 2009 at 02:50 PM PDT.

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