For the last 48 years, it has been my great privilege to serve the residents of the State of Vermont as one of the State Senators from Washington County. I worked closely with seven governors and hundreds of fellow legislators as we tried as best we could to steer our government to meet the ever changing needs of Vermonters and the state we love.
On election night this year, the initial results indicated that I had fallen short in my effort to return to the Senate for another term, which would have rounded out a half century of service.
At the urging of many of my longtime constituents, I requested that the votes be recounted to assure that the voters’ true choice was reflected in the results, since there were two candidates with the last name “Doyle” on the ballot. That process is set to begin in two weeks. In order to prevail in a recount, I would need 96 votes to change. My advisors tell me that is unlikely to occur.
On reflection and thinking of how to best continue to serve the people of this county and this State, I have decided to stand aside and let the initial results be certified as the final ones. I do this so that the local and county officials and those volunteers who would have to be involved in the recount can continue with their important work, and so that the candidate who finished just ahead of me, my good friend Francis Brooks, can begin to prepare for what will be a challenging legislative session.
As Senator-elect Brooks and his colleagues walk the halls of the State House this winter, I hope they keep in their minds and hearts, as I did over the decades, the words of Calvin Coolidge, engraved on a marble slab hanging in the Lincoln hallway, which has never ceased to inspire me:
“Vermont is a state I love. I could not look upon the peaks of Ascutney, Killington, Mansfield, and Equinox, without being moved in a way that no other scene could move me. I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who have almost beggared themselves to serve others. If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.”
Good luck and good work to my former colleagues and friends, and to their newly-elected counterparts, as they begin the people’s business, as the Vermont Constitution reads, on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday of the new year.