Douglas cites reasons for Senate decision

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(Host) At a press conference Saturday, Governor Jim Douglas announced his decision not to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim Jeffords on Saturday.

(Douglas) “To put and end to the speculation, parsing and political jockeying that distracts from achieving these goals, I’ve decided to announce my intentions now so we can all return our attention to the work before us. So we can all get back to doing what Vermonters sent us to Montpelier to do. In many ways this was an easy decision. The principle criterion I used to arrive at was: How best can I serve the people of Vermont? Since being elective governor, we’ve worked hard to improve the quality of life for the people of our state but there’s much more to do. I believe I can make the greatest contribution to improving our state by continuing to serve as governor. So I will not run for the United States Senate next year.”

(Host) Douglas has been lobbied by national members of the Republican party to get into the Senate race, but said he feels he can best serve Vermont in his current role.

(Douglas) “Well I suggested at an earlier press conference that I did receive some encouragement from national political circles. But I also said at that time that I can resist any pressure to make a decision that I don’t believe is ultimately in the best interest of myself, my family and my state. So I got a lot of advice on both sides in terms of this decision, but ultimately I wanted to do what I felt was right. I know that this is the right choice for me because I enjoy this job a great deal. I feel good about the progress we’ve made over the last couple of years and I want to continue to work hard for our state.”

Douglas said he wanted to put an end to speculation that he might run, calling it “a distraction” from the job he’s trying to do.

(Douglas) “Well I’ve noticed other politicians and pundits suggesting that certain statements that I make, certain decisions that I’ve made, as well as other politicians in Montpelier, are done with an eye toward possible candidacy for the U.S. Senate. I thought it was very, very important to make it clear that that’s not what I plan to do. I plan to continue to, first of all, focus on the great work that we’re doing in Montpelier and the important agenda that I’ve outline today. And also to suggest to those that might wonder about the future that I might be around for a while.”

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