South Burlington, VT - April 20, 2005
Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords will not seek re-election next year.
Jeffords told a press conference this afternoon in South Burlington he will not seek re-election. He promised to work diligently through the end of his term on issues of importance to Vermont. But he told reporters and his staff his health and especially that of his wife Liz have convinced him it is time to end this chapter of his political life.
Jeffords said his wife is battling cancer and hewants to spend mnore time with her. He admitted what many have said for months..that his memory seems to fail him on occasion. He joked that his wife says that's been true for nearly 50 years. Jeffords turns 71 next month.
The Independent Senator made national headlines four years ago when he left the Republican party because of disagreements with the Bush Administration.
The 70 year-old Jeffords had been adamant in saying he will seek re-election, but there have been increasing concerns about his health in recent weeks.
Reaction from politicians is pouring in; we will have much of it on the Channel three news at 6.