Vermont governor will not seek reelection
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Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, the former head of the Democratic Governors Association, announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2016.

"I've never seen politics as a life-long career," Shumlin said at a news conference at the state capitol building in Montpellier, according to WPTZ News, a local NBC affiliate.

"I decided to make this decision now because I want these next 18 months to be about the work that we still have to do. We have a lot to do."


In his speech, Shumlin touted his achievements, including his record of lowering unemployment, adding ten times the amount of solar energy, expanding access to high speed internet, and increasing access to education.

"I ran for governor because I wanted to do what I could to give back to the state that has given me so much and make it possible for more Vermonters to enjoy the opportunity and success that I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve," he said.

He outlined his priorities for the rest of his tenure: economic growth, criminal justice reform, cutting spending, renewable energy, and paid family leave.

He also cited "containing healthcare spending," a major issue for Vermont. Shumlin abandoned his efforts to make Vermont the only state with a single-payer healthcare system because the costs would have prompted large tax increases.

Shumlin barely edged out his reelection victory in 2014, even as he served as head of the group that promotes Democratic gubernatorial candidates. He did not secure a majority of the vote that year, but the Democratic-majority Legislature picked him to serve another term.

His surprise decision to not run again could create a scramble among Democrats fill the seat. Scott Milne, the Republican who barely lost to Shumlin in 2014, has said he may run again.

Green Mountain State voters first elected Shumlin in 2010. Before that, he served in both houses of the Vermont Legislature. 

This story was updated at 2:32 p.m.