Leahy, Sanders honor former Vt. Gov. Phil Hoff - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Leahy, Sanders honor former Vt. Gov. Phil Hoff

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Former Gov. Phil Hoff-File photo Former Gov. Phil Hoff-File photo

Vermont's two U.S. senators paid tribute to former Governor Phil Hoff Friday in honor of his 90th birthday.

Hoff was elected governor in 1962 and served three terms. He was the first Democrat elected governor in Vermont in more than a century.

Many credit Hoff's election as a seminal point in the transformation of Vermont from one of the most conservative states in the country to one of the most liberal.

"We've been a leader for the rights of working people, for the environment, for women's rights, for gay rights, for kids. We're proud of that. But none of that would have happened, we would not be where we are today if it had not been for the work of Phil Hoff," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont.

"I've always appreciated my time with him, but especially the mentoring he did of me. Because if it had not been for him, I can tell you Mr. President, I would not be standing here today," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

Leahy was working as a young lawyer for Hoff when the governor urged him into his first political job as state's attorney in Chittenden County.

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