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[greenyes] Sen Jeffords' Statement Announcing Decision Not to Seek Reelection in 2006

Subject: Jeffords' Statement Announcing Decision Not to Seek Reelection
in 2006

Statement of Senator Jim Jeffords
April 20, 2005

For almost 40 years, the voters of Vermont have honored me with their
support and their trust. I have tried my best to be worthy of that
honor, whether serving in Montpelier or Washington, D.C.

I have had an enormously satisfying career, one that I would not have
traded for any other. In no other job do you have both the freedom and
obligation to solve problems and help people on a daily basis.

But it is time to begin a new chapter, both for me personally and for
the people of Vermont. After much thought and consultation with my
family and staff, I have decided to close this chapter of my service to
Vermont, and not seek re-election in 2006.

Between now and the end of my term, I will be working overtime to
accomplish as much as I can for Vermont, in education, the environment,
agriculture, health care and so many other areas.

I still relish the challenges in Washington, but there are even better
reasons to step down and return to Vermont. My wife Liz has put up with
a lot over the years, and it is long past time I spent more time with
her. Liz, as you know, is battling cancer, and will soon have to
undergo another round of chemotherapy. If you know her you know that
cancer has probably met its match.

I look forward to seeing a lot more of my children and their families.
And in a few weeks, I look forward to greeting our first grandchild into
the family.

There have been questions about my health, and that is a factor as well.
I am feeling the aches and pains that come when you reach 70. My memory
fails me on occasion, but Liz would probably argue this has been going
on for the last 50 years.

I am excited about coming home and working with the University of
Vermont and other institutions to focus on what I think is the biggest
challenge we face as a nation, the education of our children. If we
were a nation at risk in 1983, two decades later that risk is even

We will never be able to maintain our standard of living against
competitors around the world if we do not maintain the advantage of a
highly skilled workforce. Unfortunately we are now importing thousands
of skilled workers per year. This has to turn around.

The people of Vermont will have a new U.S. Senator for the first time in
almost a generation. I am making my announcement today because it seems
only fair that Vermonters have ample time to consider that decision, and
that the many able Vermont candidates, for this and other offices that
may be open, have time to make their own plans.

I have been blessed by a wonderful family, great friends, and a fine
staff over my entire career. And I am forever grateful for the trust of
the people of our state.
Thanks, Vermont.
- 30 -

Erik Smulson
Communications Director
Senator Jim Jeffords
Minority, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
w. 202-224-1878
c. 202-253-4163

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