Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas will not seek reelection next year, he announced last week. The Republican governor was elected to the first of four two year terms in 2002.

“As any farmer knows after many years working sunup to sundown, seven days a week, there comes a time to turn over the reins to fresh arms,” he said at a news conference reported in the Burlington Free Press. “After 36 years as a public servant, 28 of those years in statewide office, with what will be eight years as governor, and through 15 statewide elections, I will have held center stage long enough for anybody.”

Douglas, 58, began his public career in 1972 when he was elected to the Vermont House straight out of college. He later became an aide to Gov. Richard Snelling and in 1980 he was elected secretary of state, an office he held until 1993. He was elected treasurer the following year where he served until becoming governor in 2003, replacing Democrat Howard Dean.

Douglas said he has no plans to seek further elected office.

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