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.