Peter Shumlin

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Peter Shumlin
Peter Shumlin.jpg
Governor of Vermont
In office
January 6, 2011 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 4
PredecessorJim Douglas (R)
Chair, Democratic Governors Association
President Pro Tempore, Vermont State Senate
1997, 2006
Base salary$145,538
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$3,025,853
Term limitsNone
Prior offices
Vermont State Senate
1993–2003, 2006–2011
Vermont House of Representatives
Bachelor'sWesleyan University (1979)
Date of birthMarch 24, 1956
Place of birthBrattleboro, VT
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Peter Shumlin (b. March 24, 1956 in Brattleboro, Vermont) is the 81st and current Governor of Vermont. A Democrat, he was first elected in 2010 and won re-election on November 6, 2012. Shumlin easily defeated state Sen. Randy Brock (R) in the 2012 race by a margin of 57.8 percent to 37.6 percent.[1]

In December 2012, Shumlin was elected to serve as head of the Democratic Governors Association for 2013, replacing Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley.[2]

Shumlin ran for re-election in 2014.[3] He placed first in the general election but did not gain 50 percent of the vote, requiring the Vermont State Legislature to select the next governor.[4] Shumlin won another term in office following a 110-69 vote by legislators on January 8, 2015.[5]

Shumlin was previously a Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate from 1992 to 2002 and 2007 to 2010, representing Windham County. He served as President Pro Tempore in his second Senate term.[6]

During his time in the legislature Shumlin led the movement to legalize same-sex marriage. When he was campaigning for governor in 2010, he promised to perform the marriage of a lesbian couple if he was elected. He kept the promise, marrying the couple in his office in 2011.[7]


Shumlin's political experience began with his service as chair on the Board of Selectman. He served in the Vermont State House of Representatives from 1990 to 1992 after a gubernatorial appointment to fill a vacancy. He then served in the Vermont State Senate from 1992 to 2002. In 1994, he was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate.[8] This led to a spot on the Democratic gubernatorial ticket in 2002 as the lt. governor candidate.[6] Instead, Republican Brian Dubie prevailed.

Shumlin took a respite from public life and spent the next three years running the family business, Putney Student Travel. When his successor in the Senate retired, Shumlin ran for his old seat. He joined the senate again in 2007, representing Windham County. In the fall of 2009, he announced he would run for governor. He survived a five-way primary that took days to conclude after initial reports were close enough to trigger recounts.

Shumlin has worked as both an educator and dairy farmer. He and his brother, Jeff, still run the travel business founded by their parents, George and Kitty, six decades ago. Putney Travel facilitates middle school and high school students undertaking academic travel abroad.

Peter and his wife, Deborah, have two teenage daughters, Olivia and Rebecca. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors and still works at the dairy farm where he is a partner.


  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1979
  • Buxton School

Political career

Governor of Vermont (2011-present)

Shumlin was elected Governor of Vermont on November 2, 2010. He succeeded Republican incumbent Jim Douglas, who did not run for re-election to a fifth two-year term. Shumlin won re-election in the general election on November 6, 2012.

Single-payer insurance plan

On December 18, 2014, Shumlin announced that he ended his pursuit of legislation to turn Vermont into the first state in the nation to operate a universal, taxpayer-funded healthcare system. Shumlin first signed legislation in 2011 that sought cost estimates and plans for the Green Mountain Care program slated to start by 2017. Estimates published in December 2014 determined that the state needed a new income tax of up to 9.5 percent and a payroll tax of 11.5 percent to meet ongoing costs of the proposed program. In a press release, Shumlin noted, "These are simply not tax rates that I can responsibly support or urge the Legislature to pass...In my judgement, the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families and the state's economy."[9] The Kaiser Family Foundation determined that 41,000 state residents gained insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act by April 2014 and the state's 9.3 percent uninsured rate prior to the federal law's passage was among the lowest in the United States.[10]

Democratic Governors Association Chairmanship

On December 4, 2012, just shy of one month after he won re-election to a second term as governor, Shumlin was elected chairman of the Democratic Governors Association at the organization's annual meeting in Los Angeles, California. He ran unopposed and with the support of outgoing chairman, Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley. Shumlin's election marked the continuation of the tradition of Vermont governors chairing national gubernatorial associations, a line which includes former governors Richard Snelling, Howard Dean and Jim Douglas. His decision to take on the leadership role also indicated his confidence about being re-elected to a third term in 2014.[11]

Health and Human Services Committee

In October 2013, Shumlin was appointed Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee in the National Governors Association by NGA Chair Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.[12]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Shumlin was ranked number 33. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[13][14]

2014 State of the State address

In January 2014, Shumlin gave his State of the State address and declared his hope to include an additional $1 million in the state budget for drug treatment and recovery in an attempt to deal with Vermont’s drug addiction and drug-related crime problem.[15] In fiscal year 2013, the Vermont state budget already allocated $8 million for drug treatment and recovery measures. The state spent nearly $30 million for drug and alcohol abuse in fiscal year 2013. “The crisis I am talking about is the rising tide of drug addiction and drug-related crime spreading across Vermont,” said Shumlin. “In every corner of our state, heroin and opiate drug addiction threatens us … it threatens the safety that has always blessed our state,” he said. “It is a crisis bubbling just beneath the surface that may be invisible to many, but is already highly visible to law enforcement, medical personnel, social service and addiction treatment providers, and too many Vermont families.”[15]

Vermont State Senate (1992–2002, 2006–2011)

Before being elected governor in 2010, Shumlin was a Democratic member of the Vermont State Senate from 2007 to 2010 and from 1992 to 2002, representing Windham County. He served as President Pro Tempore in his second Senate term.[16]

Committee assignments

On The Issues Vote Match

Peter Shumlin's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Shumlin is a Moderate Liberal. Shumlin received a score of 70 percent on social issues and 30 percent on economic issues.[17]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[18]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Unknown Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Unknown Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Opposes
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Unknown Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Unknown Never legalize marijuana Strongly Opposes
Note: Information last updated: April 19, 2015.[17] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.



See also: Vermont Gubernatorial election, 2014

Shumlin ran for re-election to the office of Governor of Vermont. Shumlin won re-nomination in the Democratic primary on August 26.[3] The general election took place November 4, 2014. The election did not yield a clear winner and the Vermont State Legislature voted 110-69 to give Shumlin another term in office.


Primary election
Vermont Gubernatorial Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Shumlin 77% 15,260
Brooke Paige 16.1% 3,199
Write-ins 6.9% 1,369
Total Votes 19,828
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.
General election
Governor of Vermont, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Peter Shumlin Incumbent 46.4% 89,509
     Republican Scott Milne 45.1% 87,075
     Libertarian Dan Feliciano 4.4% 8,428
     Liberty Union Emily Peyton 1.6% 3,157
     Independent Pete Diamondstone 0.9% 1,673
     Independent Bernard Peters 0.7% 1,434
     Independent Cris Ericson 0.6% 1,089
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 722
Total Votes 193,087
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.

Race background

History of deadlocked races

The Vermont State Constitution requires winning candidates in gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial and treasurer elections to receive majorities in their respective races. If a gubernatorial election fails to meet this requirement, the Vermont State Legislature convenes the following January to select the next governor. Since 1789, there have been 23 gubernatorial elections that failed to meet the majority threshold including the 2014 election. The legislature selected the top vote recipients in 20 out of the past 23 deadlocked races and have not selected a second-place finisher as governor since 1853.[19]

Note: In the following table, a bolded name indicates a second-place finisher who was selected as governor by the legislature.

Vermont gubernatorial elections without majority winner, 1789-Present
Year First-place candidate  % of vote Second-place candidate  % of vote Margin Winner in legislative vote
1789 Thomas Chittenden 44.1 Moses Robinson 26 18.1 Moses Robinson
1813 Jonas Galusha 49.5 Martin Chittenden 48.7 0.8 Martin Chittenden
1814 Martin Chittenden 49.4 Jonas Galusha 49.3 0.1 Martin Chittenden
1830 Samuel C. Crafts 43.9 William A. Palmer 35.6 8.3 Samuel C. Crafts
1831 William A. Palmer 44 Heman Allen 37.5 6.5 William A. Palmer
1832 William A. Palmer 42.2 Samuel C. Crafts 37.7 4.5 William A. Palmer
1834 William A. Palmer 45.4 William C. Bradley 27.5 17.9 William A. Palmer
1835 William A. Palmer 46.4 William C. Bradley 37.9 8.5 No governor selected
1841 Charles Payne 48.7 Nathan Smilie 44.4 4.3 Charles Payne
1843 John Mattocks 48.7 Daniel Kellogg 43.8 4.9 John Mattocks
1845 William Slade 47.2 Daniel Kellogg 38.5 8.7 William Slade
1846 Horace Eaton 48.5 John Smith 36.7 11.8 Horace Eaton
1847 Horace Eaton 46.7 Paul Dillingham Jr. 38.7 8 Horace Eaton
1848 Carlos Coolidge 43.7 Oscar L. Shafter 29.6 14.1 Carlos Coolidge
1849 Carlos Coolidge 49.6 Horatio Needham 44 5.6 Carlos Coolidge
1852 Erastus Fairbanks 49.4 John S. Robinson 31 18.4 Erastus Fairbanks
1853 Erastus Fairbanks 43.9 John S. Robinson 38.3 5.6 John S. Robinson
1902 John G. McCullough 45.6 Percival W. Clement 40.3 5.3 John G. McCullough
1912 Allen M. Fletcher 40.5 Harland B. Howe 30.8 9.7 Allen M. Fletcher
1986 Madeleine M. Kunin 47 Peter Smith 38.2 9.2 Madeleine M. Kunin
2002 Jim Douglas 44.9 Doug Racine 42.4 2.5 Jim Douglas
2010 Peter Shumlin 49.5 Brian Dubie 47.7 1.8 Peter Shumlin
2014 Peter Shumlin 46.4 Scott Milne 45.1 1.3 Peter Shumlin


See also: Vermont gubernatorial election, 2012

Shumlin won re-election in 2012. He ran unopposed in the August 28th primary election and defeated four challengers in the general election: Randy Brock (R), Emily Peyton (I), Cris Ericson (United States Marijuana) and Dave Eagle (Liberty Union).[20] The general election took place on November 6, 2012.[21][1]

Governor of Vermont General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Shumlin Incumbent 57.8% 170,749
     Republican Randy Brock 37.6% 110,940
     Independent Emily Peyton 2% 5,868
     United States Marijuana Cris Ericson 1.9% 5,583
     Liberty Union Dave Eagle 0.4% 1,303
     Independent Write-in 0.3% 969
Total Votes 295,412
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State.


Shumlin's 2012 re-election campaign was endorsed by:

  • The Vermont National Education Association, the state's largest union.[22]
  • Professional Fire Fighters Association of Vermont[23]
  • Mayors of Barre, St. Albans, Newport, Winooski, Burlington, Montpelier and Rutland.[24]


See also: Vermont gubernatorial election, 2010

Shumlin won election as Governor of Vermont in 2010, succeeding Republican incumbent Jim Douglas, who did not run for re-election to a fifth two-year term.[25]

The August 24 primary election was too close to call. It eventually resulted in a recount between Shumlin and second place finisher Douglas Racine. Racine conceded the race on September 10, when the recount saw Shumlin expand his lead.

Shumlin defeated Brian Dubie (R) and six other challengers in the general election on November 2.

Governor of Vermont, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPeter Shumlin 49.5% 119,543
     Republican Brian E. Dubie 47.7% 115,212
     Independent Dennis Steele 0.8% 1,917
     United States Marijuana Cris Ericson 0.8% 1,819
     Independent Dan Feliciano 0.6% 1,341
     Independent Em Peyton 0.3% 684
     Liberty Union Ben Mitchell 0.2% 429
     Write-In Various 0.3% 660
Total Votes 241,605
Election Results via Vermont Secretary of State


On November 4, 2008, Shumlin won re-election by finishing first for the two-seat Windham District of the Vermont State Senate, receiving 14,866 votes ahead of Democrat Jeanette White (13,531), Liberty Union candidate Aaron Diamondstone (2,464), and write-ins (219).[26]

Shumlin raised $3,350 for his campaign.[27]

Vermont State Senate, Windham District
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Peter Shumlin (D) 14,866
Green check mark transparent.png Jeanette White (D) 13,531
Aaron Diamondstone (LU) 2,464
Write-ins 219

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Shumlin is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Shumlin raised a total of $3,025,852 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 8, 2013.[28]

Peter Shumlin's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Vermont Won $1,263,986
2010 Governor of Vermont Won $1,494,358
2008 VT State Senate Won $3,350
2006 VT State Senate Won $3,882
2002 VT Lieutenant Governor Defeated $249,129
2000 VT State Senate Won $700
1998 VT State Senate Won $10,447
1996 VT State Senate Won $0
Grand Total Raised $3,025,852


Shumlin won re-election to the position of Governor of Vermont in 2012. During that election cycle, Shumlin raised a total of $1,263,986.


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Peter Shumlin's donors each year.[29] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vermont Public Radio, "Campaign 2012 Election Results" accessed November 6, 2012
  2. Politico, "Shumlin elected to lead DGA, with O'Comartun as top aide," December 4, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vermont Secretary of State, "2014 Primary Candidate Listing," accessed July 28, 2014
  4. Huffington Post, "Vermont Governor Election Results: State Legislature To Decide Winner," November 5, 2014
  5. Vermont Public Radio, "LIVE BLOG: Lawmakers Elect Shumlin to Third Term," January 8, 2015
  6. 6.0 6.1 Project Vote Smart, "Biography-Peter Shumlin," accessed September 28, 2012
  7. Huffington Post, "Peter Shumlin, Vermont Governor, Presides Over Marriage Of Lesbian Couple ," August 17, 2011
  8. Peter Shumlin for Governor, "Meet Peter," accessed July 28, 2014
  9. Burlington Free Press, "Single-payer dies in Shumlin's biggest disappointment," December 18, 2014
  10. The Washington Post, "Vermont ends push for single-payer health care," December 18, 2014
  11. VT Digger, "Shumlin to be named Democratic Governors Association Chairman," December 5, 2012
  12. NGA News Release NGA Chooses New Committee Leadership, E-mail communication to Kristen Mathews October 23, 2013
  13. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  14. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1, "Vermont governor declares new ‘War on Drugs,’ but pumps up old bureaucracy," January 10, 2014
  16. Project Vote Smart, "Biography-Peter Shumlin," accessed September 28, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 On The Issues, "Peter Shumlin Vote Match," accessed April 19, 2015
  18. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  19. Vermont Secretary of State, "General Election Results: Governor, 1789-2012," accessed November 13, 2014
  20. Vermont Secretary of State, "Unofficial election results," August 28, 2012
  21. Vermont Secretary of State Elections Division, "2012 Candidate Listing," accessed October 19, 2012
  22. VtDigger, "State's largest union gives nod to Shumlin, Scott, Illuzzi, and Condos earlier recommendation for Pearce in Treasurer's race rounds out Vermont NEAs election picks," September 11, 2012
  23. VT, "Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont endorse Peter Shumlin for governor," June 19, 2012
  24. The Republic, "Vermont mayors endorse Shumin's re-election," September 24, 2012
  25. Vermont Secretary of State, "2010 GENERAL ELECTION OFFICIAL RESULTS: Vote Totals and Mailing List for the Federal and Statewide Races, revised November 12, 2010," accessed November 15, 2010
  26. Vermont State Senate official 2008 election results
  27. Follow the Money's report on Shumlin's 2008 campaign contributions
  28. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Peter Shumlin," accessed May 8, 2013
  29. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Douglas (R)
Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vermont State Senate - Windham District
Succeeded by