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August 21st, 2014

Senate Report

Governor Jim Douglas

In 2002, Republican Jim Douglas, a former legislator, state treasurer and secretary of state, defeated Lt. Governor Doug Racine in the hard-fought Governor’s race. Douglas was the first Republican to hold the governorship in over a decade. He entered the office “during a period of dramatic economic downturn and declining state revenue.” His goal wa...

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Governor Howard Dean

by Sen. Bill Doyle   Governor Howard Dean became Governor in August 1991 as the result of the untimely death of Governor Richard Snelling. His time in office was the second longest tenure in Vermont history. According to the Burlington Free Press, the following are the highlights of the Dean years:   • Children’s Health Care: An expanded...

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Governor Madeleine Kunin

by Sen. Bill Doyle   In the 1984 election, the Democrats made substantial gains and reaffirmed that Vermont was a two party state. Madeleine Kunin, elected Vermont’s first woman governor, interpreted her narrow victory over John Easton as an indication that “independence is alive and well in the State of Vermont.” Easton carried over 140 towns...

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Governor Richard Snelling

The Republicans recaptured the governorship in 1976 through Richard Snelling. Snelling had campaigned on a platform of providing more jobs to Vermonters and running government more efficiently, which apparently appealed to Vermonters as they returned him to the governorship in 1978, 1980 and 1982. He gained national attention through his advocacy o...

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Governor Tom Salmon

PHOTO: Thomas Salmon.jpg         The Democrats were able to recapture the governorship in 1972 under Thomas Salmon, a Rockingham attorney. He was no doubt helped by a blood-letting Republican primary fight between victor Fred Hackett and James Jeffords. Salmon continued the environmental work begun by Davis; one of his main themes wa...

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Governor Deane C. Davis

  by Sen. Bill Doyle   The Democrat who tried to follow in Hoff’s gubernatorial shoes failed. John Daley of Rutland was beaten in 1968 by Deane C. Davis, former president of National Life Insurance Company of Montpelier and long-time Republican. Davis, who possessed wit and charm, combined a person-to-person campaign with imaginative tele...

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Governor Philip Hoff

In 1962, Burlington attorney Philip Hoff, one of the so-called “Young Turks” in the 1960 General Assembly (the bipartisan group also included Republicans Richard Mallary, Sanborn Partridge, Ernest Gibson III and Franklin Billings), ran successfully against incumbent Republican Governor F. Ray Keyser Jr.   Hoff, who also won re-election in 1966...

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Ernest Gibson

Ernest Gibson is treated for a head wound during a Japanese air raid in the Pacific during World War II.   by Sen. Bill Doyle   George Aiken was succeeded in the State House by William Wills, and then in 1944 by the last of the Proctors, Mortimer. In 1946, Proctor was challenged by Ernest Gibson, Jr. Gibson was just back from World War II...

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George Aiken: Senator and Governor

  by Sen. Doyle   Vermont Democrats were not able to capitalize on the economic disarray and make make serious inroads into Republican power. Part of the reason was the leadership provided by George Aiken, who was a legislator, House speaker and lieutenant governor before running successfully for governor in 1936. Among Aiken’s strongest suppo...

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The Flood of 1927

  by Sen. Bill Doyle   It was the flood of 1927, and not the Depression, that first led Vermont through a period of great change. The flood caused massive damage around the state, wiping out highways and railroads and sweeping buildings off their foundations. Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, came to the state to view the damage, remarking h...

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