April 20, 2005

FIRE UP A DUBIE (via mc):

Sen. Jeffords Won't Seek Re-Election (CHRISTOPHER GRAFF, 4/20/05, Associated Press)

Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, an independent who triggered one of the most dramatic upheavals in Senate history when he quit the GOP four years ago, intends to retire at the end of his term next year, The Associated Press learned Wednesday.

Jeffords will make the announcement Wednesday afternoon in Burlington, multiple sources in Vermont and Washington told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity. [...]

Jeffords' surprise decision will unleash a host of candidates to replace him. U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, the state's only congressman and the only independent in the House, has said he would run if Jeffords did not. Like Jeffords, he votes with the Democrats.

Republicans Richard Tarrant, a business executive, and Gov. James Douglas are also possible contenders.

Former Gov. Howard Dean, now the chair of the Democratic National Committee, had long been rumored as a possible candidate. But Karen Finney, a top aide to Dean, said the former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential hopeful will not be running for the Senate because he's committed to his new duties at the DNC.

Lt. Governor Brian Dubie would be ideal and with Bernie and a Democrat splitting the vote he'd win.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2005 1:04 PM

"Thanks Jim!" At least the field is wide open again. Agreed about Dubie, he's ready for the national scene. Now all we have to do is dump St. Bernard and Leaky Leahy.

Posted by: Governor Breck at April 20, 2005 1:32 PM

It would have been interesting to see who supported Jeffords if he sought reelection. Certainly the GOP wouldn't but would the Dems? If so then this would be akin to the Dems now having to defend a seat.

I fear there are too many Ben and Jerry type liberals now running VT and the fact that they keep sending Leahy and Sanders back doesn't auger well for a GOP pickup.

Posted by: AWW at April 20, 2005 1:38 PM

Governor Douglas had said he wouldn';t campaign against him, which would have made winning problematic for the GOP.

Posted by: oj at April 20, 2005 1:42 PM

OJ - saw elsewhere that Douglas wouldn't run against Jeffords but this opens the door to him now. That post said it is more likely Douglas runs against Sanders for the seat and Dubie moves up to governor if Douglas wins.

Posted by: AWW at April 20, 2005 2:00 PM

Dammit Douglas, you're a Republican. Act like one!

Posted by: Governor Breck at April 20, 2005 2:01 PM

Some critics of Senator Jeffords say he is a real nut job, but I'm just happy to see him go into the dustbin of history.

Posted by: Neo at April 20, 2005 2:08 PM

"Dammit Douglas, you're a Republican. Act like one!"

McCain, Lugar, Voinovich, Snow, Specter, Hagel, Lott, Chaffee, Collins, ...

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 20, 2005 2:39 PM

Jeffords will be able to devote full time to his new career as a human footnote.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at April 20, 2005 2:58 PM

sorry assed fool. can someone tell me why the gop doesn't run real republicans in the primaries, against these ersatz ones ? i know some people say that its better to have their vote sometimes than none of the times, but i think that even if these particular seats were lost, we would pick up other seats and end up with a much stronger senate team.

Posted by: cjm at April 20, 2005 7:49 PM