|Shumlin in June 2012|
|81st Governor of Vermont|
January 6, 2011
|Preceded by||Jim Douglas|
|President Pro Tempore of the Vermont Senate|
|Preceded by||Peter Welch|
|Succeeded by||John F. Campbell|
|Preceded by||Stephen W. Webster|
|Succeeded by||Peter Welch|
|Born||Peter Elliott Shumlin
March 24, 1956
Brattleboro, Vermont, United States
|Spouse(s)||Deborah Holway Shumlin (1989-2013; divorced)|
|Alma mater||Wesleyan University|
Peter Elliott Shumlin (born March 24, 1956) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who serves as the 81st and current Governor of Vermont and has served as chair of the Democratic Governors Association since December 2012. First elected Governor in 2010, he was re-elected by a large margin in 2012. He previously served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1990 to 1993 and represented the Windham District in the Vermont Senate from 1993 to 2003 and 2007 to 2011. He was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont in 2002.
- 1 Personal life, education and career
- 2 Early political career
- 3 Governor of Vermont
- 4 Political positions
- 5 Controversy
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Personal life, education and career
Shumlin was born in Brattleboro, Vermont. He went to high school at the Buxton School, and graduated from Wesleyan University in 1979. Shumlin served on the Putney Selectboard in the 1980s and helped found Landmark College, which was created to help people with learning disabilities gain a college education. Shumlin's father, George J. Shumlin, a third generation American, was Jewish, and descended from Russian immigrants; Shumlin's mother, Kitty Prins Shumlin, was born in Holland.
Early political career
Shumlin was appointed by Governor Madeleine M. Kunin to fill a vacancy in the Vermont House of Representatives. He served part of one term plus one full term, and represented Putney from 1990 through 1993. In 1992 he was elected to the Vermont Senate, and he soon became Minority Leader. In the 1996 elections, Shumlin led his Senate Democrats to win back control of the chamber and in 1997 he became Senate President Pro Tempore.
Campaign for Lieutenant Governor
In 2002, Shumlin won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor, and lost the general election to Republican Brian Dubie of Essex in a three-way race that included Progressive Anthony Pollina of Middlesex.
From 2003 to 2006, Shumlin returned to the family business, Putney Student Travel, an educational firm that allows students in middle and high school to travel to foreign countries, learn about different cultures and prepare for college.
Return to the Vermont Senate
In 2006, Shumlin ran successfully for his old seat in the State Senate upon the retirement of Rod Gander, who served from 2003 to 2007. Upon his return, Shumlin was once again elected President Pro Tempore.
Governor of Vermont
On November 16, 2009, Shumlin announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Vermont. Shumlin placed first in the five-way August 24, 2010 Democratic primary with 18,276 votes (24.48%). The close election saw three other candidates come within 3,000 votes of Shumlin. Former Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine came second with 18,079 votes (24.22%), Secretary of State of Vermont Deborah Markowitz came third with 17,579 votes (23.9%) and former State Senator Matt Dunne came fourth with 15,323 votes (20.8%). State Senator Susan Bartlett came in a distant fifth with 3,759 votes (5.1%). Racine requested a recount, which confirmed Shumlin as the winner.
In the general election on November 2, 2010, Shumlin was elected Governor, receiving 119,543 votes (49.44%) to Republican Brian Dubie's 115,212 votes (47.69%). Vermont requires the winner of the election for Governor and some other statewide offices to obtain a majority of popular votes, otherwise the winner is chosen by the Vermont General Assembly. Dubie did not contest the vote in the General Assembly, which almost always chooses the candidate who obtained a plurality in the general election, and on January 6, 2011 the General Assembly elected Shumlin by 145 votes (80.6%) to 28 (15.6%).
Vermont and New Hampshire are the only states whose governors do not serve four-year terms; rather, their governors are elected every two years, always in even-numbered years.
The 2012 election took place on November 6, 2012. Shumlin was unopposed in the Democratic primary and easily won re-election, defeating Republican Randy Brock by 170,767 votes (58%) to 110,953 votes (37.7%).
After Shumlin's election in 2010, all of his primary opponents except Dunne subsequently joined his administration. Racine became Secretary of Human Services, Markowiz became Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources and Bartlett became Shumlin's Special Assistant, with responsibility for oversight of education and other policy initiatives.
On April 26, 2011, Shumlin appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show via telephone where he discussed health care reform in his state. He said he believes in health care for all and stressed repeatedly "health care is a right, not a privilege".
On May 26, 2011, "Vermont became the first state to lay the groundwork for single-payer health care...when [Governor Shumlin] signed an ambitious bill aimed at establishing universal insurance coverage for all residents".
On August 17, 2011, Shumlin became the first sitting governor in the United States to preside over a same-sex wedding ceremony.
On April 11, 2012, Shumlin was almost mauled by bears when he attempted to chase them away from raiding bird feeders on his property. Shumlin joked that Vermont "almost lost the governor," and added that he was within "three feet of getting 'arrrh.'"
On May 16, 2012, Shumlin signed a bill banning hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the breaking of underground rock formations by using pressurized chemical-laced fluid in order to access natural gas deposits. The bill made Vermont became the first state to pass a such a ban, and was signed in front of group of high school students who pushed for it.
On May 22, 2013, Shumlin signed a bill making physician assisted suicide legal throughout Vermont. 
On June 6, 2013, Vermont became the 17th state to decriminalize marijuana. Shumlin signed a bill that made possession of less than an ounce of the drug punishable by a small fine rather than arrest and possible jail time.
Shumlin is a prominent opponent of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, whose owner, Entergy, recently sued the State of Vermont in Federal court to enable use of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's recently approved 20-year extension to the plant's operating license. On balance, Entergy won that lawsuit, but the verdict is now under appeal by the state.
Two days after Shumlin was elected Governor, the owners of Vermont Yankee put it up for sale. However, there were no bidders for its purchase and the company withdrew the plant from consideration for sale in late March 2011.
Shumlin is adamantly pro-choice, and drew a contrast between himself and his 2010 Republican gubernatorial opponent Brian Dubie, who would not answer the question of whether or not he would cut funding for low-income abortions when pressed by Shumlin during the two candidates' televised debates. Shumlin held a pro-choice rally two days prior to the election, prompting his opponent to host a pro-jobs rally on the same day to draw a contrast between the two candidates' priorities.
In May, 2013 Shumlin was involved in a real estate transaction which generated controversy. A neighbor who owned a house and land adjacent to Shumlin's East Montpelier home reportedly owed back taxes and was told that he would lose the property in a tax sale. According to news accounts, the neighbor asked Shumlin to consider buying the property. Media accounts indicate that in a complicated transaction, Shumlin bought the property, had the assessed value reduced because the house was in disrepair, paid the back taxes, paid the neighbor's back child support, and allowed the neighbor to continue living in the house for several months.
The neighbor is reported to have had second thoughts. After he stated in the media that he thought the purchase price Shumlin paid had been too low, Shumlin was criticized in press accounts and sought to renegotiate the terms or void the transaction. Both Shumlin and his neighbor subsequently obtained legal counsel, with Brady Toensing, the son of attorney and Republican activist Victoria Toensing representing the neighbor, and former Vermont Attorney General M. Jerome Diamond representing Shumlin.
In June, 2013 the Vermont newspaper Seven Days included a story with favorable details about how Shumlin handled many of his other real estate deals, including purchasing the dairy farm of a debt-saddled acquaintance, and allowing the acquaintance to lease the property in exchange for making the property tax and insurance payments, while Shumlin bore the expense of renovating the farm house and milking parlor.
On July 18, 2013 Toensing announced that Shumlin and his East Montpelier neighbor had reached an agreement for the neighbor to repurchase the property from Shumlin.
Shumlin's neighbor and Shumlin signed an agreement on August 12, 2013. The neighbor agreed to pay Shumlin $30,483 over five years to reimburse for the money Shumlin spent to pay for the neighbor's back taxes, home repairs and delinquent child support. The interest on this amount was set at 2.8 percent, the lowest rate allowed by law. For the first four years the neighbor agreed to pay interest only, and in the fifth year he will pay the remaining interest and the principal.
- Vermont Marriage Index, 1981-1984 and 1989-2001, entry for Peter E Shumlin and Deborah Holway Shumlin, accessed July 3, 2013
- Susie Steimle, WCAX-TV, Candidate Closeup: Peter Shumlin, October 18, 2012
- Ken Herman, Cox News Service, Marshall News-Messenger, "The People who are not Included in Gov. Perry’s Houston Prayer Fest", June 10, 2011. "Peter Shumlin is of unknown, if any, religion. "He has never declared a religion publicly," Sue Allen, his communications director, told me Monday."
- Town Hall, 2010 candidate profile, Peter Shumlin
- Burlington Free Press, The Shumlin Era Dawns This Week in Montpelier, January 2, 2011
- Remsen, Nancy; Hallenbeck, Terri (November 3, 2010). "Dubie concedes in Vermont governor's race". The Burlington Free Press. Retrieved November 3, 2010.
- Paul Anthony Theis, Edmund Lee Henshaw, Who's Who in American Politics, Volume 2, 1991
- Peter Shumlin, Project Vote Smart
- Phil Baruth, Vermont Daily Briefing, Shumlin Returns: The VDB Sit-Down, March 20, 2007
- Shumlin for Governor, Meet Peter
- Burlington Free Press, Shumlin Divorce Finalized, April 3, 2013
- VT Digger, Shumlin to Speak at Marlboro College Commencement Sunday, May 16, 2013
- National Journal, Almanac entry, Peter Shumlin, accessed July 19, 2013
- Vermont Secretary of State, Legislator's Biography, Peter Shumlin, 2007
- Jack Hoffman, Vermont Press Bureau, Rutland Herald, No Shortage of Candidates, September 6, 2001
- Darren M. Allen, Vermont Press Bureau, Rutland Herald, Hingtgen Enters Race for Lieutenant Governor, May 10, 2004
- Chris Garofolo, Brattleboro Reformer, Gov. Shumlin: Victorious Shumlin Ready to Lead, November 4, 2010
- Louis Porter, Vermont Press Bureau, Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus, Senate Dems. Pick Shumlin, November 14, 2006
- "Peter Shumlin to run for governor". Burlington (Vt.) Free Press. November 16, 2009.
- Dave Gram and John Curran, Associated Press, Boston Globe, A top Vt. senator claims victory in governor race, August 25, 2010
- "Shumlin wins; Racine calls for recount". Burlington (Vt.) Free Press. August 27, 2010.
- John Curran, Associated Press, Huffington Post, Vermont Election Results: Brian Dubie Concedes To Peter Shumlin In 2010 Governor's Race, November 3, 2010
- David Gram, Associated Press, Rutland Herald, 3-Way Race Raises Prospect of Lawmakers Picking Governor, May 26, 2008
- "Dubie concedes to Shumlin in Vermont governor race". burlingtonfreepress.com. 2010-11-03.
- David Gram, Associated Press, Boston Globe, Vt. Gov. Takes Office After Lawmakers Elect Him, January 6, 2011
- Vermont General Assembly, Journal of the Joint Assembly, January 6, 2011, page 5
- Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Press Bureau, Rutland Herald, Shumlin Taps Former Campaign Rival for High-Profile Post, December 1, 2010
- David Gram, Associated Press, Boston Globe, Vt. Gov.-Elect Shumlin Fills 2 Environmental Jobs, December 6, 2010
- Neal P.Goswami, Bennington Banner, Shumlin Names Four to his Team, November 24, 2010
- Wing, Nicholas (May 26, 2011). "Vermont Single-Payer Health Care Law Signed By Governor". Huffington Post.
- Curran, John (August 17, 2011). "Vermont governor presides over lesbians' marriage". The Boston Globe.
- Vt. Governor Chased by 4 Bears in Backyard
- Gerken, James (May 17, 2012). "VT Becomes First State To Ban Fracking". Huffington Post.
- Politico.com, Shumlin Elected to Lead DGA, December 4, 2012
- Burns, Alexander. "DGA appoints leaders for 2014". Politico. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- wcax.com, Shumlin to Sign Aid in Dying Bill, May 20,2012
- "Vermont becomes 17th state to decriminalize marijuana, making possession of less than an ounce of pot punishable by fine". NY Daily News. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Owner Entergy Sues State To Stay Open". Huffington Post. April 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
- Matthew W. Wald. Vermont Nuclear Plant Up for Sale The New York Times, November 4, 2010.
- "Entergy: No sale of Vermont Yankee". Burlington Free Press. Mar 30, 2011.
- Vermont Digger, Shumlin Campaign: Dubie Can't Give a Straight Answer, October 25, 2010
- Burlington Free Press, Rallies Coincide in Burlington for Peter Shumlin, Brian Dubie, October 24, 2010
- "Shumlin applauds "Team Kale"". December 5, 2011.
- Jennifer Reading, WCAX-TV, Vt. Man Claims Governor Took Advantage of Him in Land Deal, May 22, 2013
- Peter Hirschfeld, Rutland Herald, Shumlin Land Buy Questioned, May 24, 2013
- Paul Heniotz, Seven Days, A Neighbor in Need: Jeremy Dodge Hopes to Stay Put on Shumlin's Land, May 24, 2013
- Peter Hirschfeld, Rutland Herald, After Sale to Governor, Regrets for Dodge, May 22, 2013
- Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, Lawyer: Shumlin Willing to Sell Land Back to Neighbor, June 5, 2013
- Associated Press, Boston Globe, Neighbor in dispute with Vt. Governor Hires Lawyer, June 11, 2013
- Dave Gram, Associated Press, Valley News, Shumlin Willing To Void Sale, June 6, 2013
- Paul Heintz, Seven Days, How Gov. Peter Shumlin Built a $5 Million Real Estate Empire, June 19, 2013
- Andrew Stein, Vermont Digger, Dodge Can Buy Back Property From Shumlin For About $30,000, Lawyers Say, July 18, 2013
- Kristin Carlson, WCAX-TV, East Montpelier Man Gets Property Back From Governor, August 13, 2013
- Associated Press, Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus, Dodge Gets Land Back From Gov., August 14, 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peter Shumlin.|
- Governor Peter Shumlin official Vermont government site
- Peter Shumlin for Governor official campaign site
- Biography at the National Governors Association
- Profile at Ballotpedia
- Profile at Notable Names Database
- Biography, interest group ratings, public statements, votes and actions, and campaign finances at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information at FollowTheMoney.org
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Works by or about Peter Shumlin in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Appearances at the Internet Movie Database
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Vermont Governor Shumlin Moves to Create Single-Payer Healthcare System - video report by Democracy Now!
- When The Rivers Rise Sierra Club Magazine article on Governor Shumlin and climate change
|Governor of Vermont
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Vice President
|Order of Precedence of the United States
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Otherwise John Boehner
as Speaker of the House of Representatives
as Governor of Rhode Island
|Order of Precedence of the United States
as Governor of Kentucky
Stephen W. Webster
|President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate
1997 – 2003
|President pro tempore of the Vermont State Senate
2007 – 2011
John F. Campbell