(Host) Republican efforts to gain seats in the Vermont Senate this November became more challenging on Tuesday. Senate Minority leader John Bloomer announced he won’t seek re-election to his Rutland County seat.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Kinzel) Bloomer, has served eight years in the Vermont Senate. He’s been Republican leader in that chamber for the last six years.
Bloomer says he made his decision to leave the Legislature because he’s had a hard time juggling three important parts of his life: are his family, his law practice and his work at the Statehouse:
(Bloomer) “I give the advice that I give to anyone who’s thinking about not running: I said take three or four weeks after the end of the session and take a look at it and see what you think, kind of contemplate it. And so that’s what I did and I reached the conclusion that right now, I don’t have the ability to continue to juggle the three, which I think is unfortunate. But I’m a little saddened by it. I’ve enjoyed my eight years in helping the citizens of the state of Vermont but you have to make the correct decision at the time. And I’m not going away for good I guess.”
(Kinzel) Bloomer says a number of party officials are encouraging him to run for either Attorney General or Auditor this fall. He says it’s very unlikely that he’ll run a statewide race this year but he views 2006 very differently:
(Bloomer) “And by looking more at ’06 I’d be able to spend time with my family, quality time with my family, work here at my occupation being a lawyer in Rutland County and then focus on running a statewide campaign and have a full two years to get established and go out and work on it.”
(Kinzel) Bloomer says he’s most proud of his legislative work on efforts to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, implementing changes to Act 60 and developing proposals to improve economic development efforts across the state.
Bloomer becomes the fourth incumbent senator to announce retirement – the others include Jim Greenwood, a Republican from Essex Orleans and Democrats Janet Munt of Chittenden County and Gerry Gossens of Addison County. The Democrats this session held a 19 to 11 majority in the state Senate.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.