Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin Won't Seek Re-Election In 2016

06/08/2015 02:13 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2015

WASHINGTON -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) said Monday that he would not be running for a fourth two-year term as governor in 2016.

Shumlin said he would focus on his goals for the state over the next year and a half, according to the Burlington Free Press.

"I reached this decision after a lot of thought and consideration," the governor said in prepared remarks at a press conference. "It is the honor of my life to serve as Vermont’s governor. I want to serve in this role until I feel confident that we have accomplished what we promised to do. By January of 2016, I believe we will have done just that."

"Now we have a lot left to do; let's get back to work," he said, according to the Free Press.

Shumlin cited his work to reduce unemployment rates and expand high-speed Internet access and preschool education, the Free Press reported. He also touted various laws he'd signed, including one requiring that genetically modified foods be labeled, another raising the state's minimum wage and a third offering free meals in schools.

Shumlin had to be re-elected to his third term by the state legislature in January after he failed to win a majority against Republican challenger Scott Milne in November 2014. It was an ironic moment: As head of the Democratic Governors Association during the 2014 campaign, Shumlin had been a key figure in the effort to elect Democratic governors nationwide.

But he angered progressive Vermonters who wanted the state to convert to a single-payer, universal health care model. In December, Shumlin dropped his plan, citing costs. Voters were also frustrated by technical issues with the state's online insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, which may have contributed to Shumlin's near-loss in November.

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