Such a race would pit two of the state's most tenacious and popular politicians against one another in a contest that was widely expected to attract millions of dollars from national political parties.
"The issues that really matter to him reforming the health care systemcontinuing to make Vermont an attractive place to do business, maintaining a sufficient number of jobs for people who graduate from high school and college are all issues that are decided in Montpelier, not Washington," Davis said.
Sanders already is entering a race in which Democrats have, so far, seemed to be shy to enter. But that decision is far from a certainty, according to speculation among top Democratic operatives in the state, especially with Douglas apparently out of the way.
The Republicans badly want to reclaim the seat, particularly after Jeffords famous 2001 defection from the GOP that cost the party of President Bush control of the Senate for 18 months.
Sanders, already considered the front runner in the Senate race, did not comment on Douglas' apparent decision to bow out of Senate contention.
House, which reportedly wanted him to run against Rep. Bernard Sanders, I Vt., the socialist former mayor of Vermont, who has all but announced his intentions to seek Jeffords' seat.
"I would not be surprised if he decided not to run," said Eric Davis, a political scientist at Middlebury College in Middlebury.
"My guess is he's not running, he's talked to people he trusts, he's made a decision, and he wants to announce it," said Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch, D Windsor.
MONTPELIER Gov. Senate seat held by his close friend Sen. James Jeffords, the Vermont independent who said two weeks ago he was retiring at the end of his term. press conference at the University of Vermont, according to a very brief statement issued by Douglas' office late Friday afternoon.
Douglas' apparent decision to stay out of the race comes amid intense pressure from the White Nike Air Max 2016 For Boys
And while Jason Gibbs, Douglas' press secretary, and others close to the governor declined to comment on the nature of today's press conference, political observers said all signs pointed to Douglas Nike Air Max 2016 Black And Blue staying out of the race.
Also, one of the architects of Douglas' successful gubernatorial races, GOP Chairman James Barnett, is not expected to be back from a trip to the Midwest for tomorrow's announcement, another sign, experts contend, that Douglas will not seek election to the Senate.
Douglas ran for Senate once before against Sen. Patrick Leahy, D Vt., a race he lost by about 11 points in 1992.
Douglas will pass up bid for U
off announcement, on the other hand, would likely be made in one of the state's big hotel ballrooms, be organized by Douglas' political staff and would likely not occur during the legislative session particularly after Douglas has taken pains in the past two weeks to say he is fully focused on the lawmaking process and that any speculation about his political future would have to wait until the General Assembly finishes its business for the year.
A Saturday afternoon press conference at UVM is not the place to make pitches for his health care plan, his dissatisfaction with plans to burn shredded tires at a paper mill, or to talk about economic development, Davis said.
Welch was widely expected to run for governor if Douglas had decided to seek the Senate seat. Welch said he would not run for governor and would announce any other political ambitions after the legislative session.
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Political observers have speculated that businessman Richard Tarrant, the founder of IDX Corp., might emerge as the GOP standard bearer in the race. Other Republican contenders could include Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who handily won a three way race for re election this fall, as well as a host of candidates such as Greg Parke, a retired military pilot who ran against Sanders and lost handily.
That task becomes increasingly harder for Republicans with Douglas out Nike Air Max Womens Black
of the race. Indeed, his decision to remain governor a job he clearly relishes will mean the reassessment of the political careers of more than just Welch.
To at least one political scientist, the timing and setting of Douglas' announcement today would be unusual for a senatorial kick off speech.
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