Donovan won’t run for second term as Vt. Attorney General



T.J. Donovan says he won’t make a second bid for Vermont Attorney General.

The Chittenden County state’s attorney narrowly lost to incumbent Bill Sorrell in the 2012 Democratic primary, and Sorrell went on to win the general election.

"It’s not the right time personally and professionally for me," Donovan said. "I struggled with the decision and went back and forth on it, but a lot of the issues we ran on in 2012 were enacted."

He ticked off a list of issues -- decriminalization of marijuana, the good samaritan law for drug overdoses, public records reform for access to police records -- that he ran on in 2012 that have become law.

"My concern is it would have been a personality conflict," Donovan said. "It’s not about personality, it’s about issues."

Sorrell, who has been in office for 16 years, had already announced he would run again.

The state’s attorney says he won’t rule out a race in future when his children who are 18 months and 4 years old are a bit older and the timing for a political race is more fortuitous.

Donovan also says he doesn’t want a campaign to interfere with his efforts to help Gov. Peter Shumlin to bring "pretrial services" statewide.

Donovan launched the first rapid intervention program in Chittenden County, which enables the court system to allow drug addicts to get treatment right away before they are charged with possession. If an addict gets successful treatment, charges are reduced or eliminated altogether.

Three counties are now working with Donovan to deploy similar programs. He said he is providing technical assistance to state’s attorneys offices in Rutland, Lamoille and Caledonia counties.


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