Jessica Karmasek Oct. 2, 2015, 10:16am


MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell -- the state’s longest serving attorney general -- said this week he will not seek re-election in 2016.

“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve the people of Vermont as attorney general for well over 18 years,” Sorrell said in a statement Monday.

“I look forward to continuing to work hard, along with the very talented lawyers and other staff of the Attorney General’s Office, on the many important issues we presently confront and those we will confront during the next 15 months.”

Sorrell, who was appointed by former Gov. Howard Dean in 1997, has run for and won re-election nine times -- in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

“I am proud of my office and its many accomplishments,” Sorrell said this week. “I am deeply grateful for the support I have received and continue to receive from so many Vermonters.”

The long-time attorney general reportedly is under investigation for complaints regarding campaign finance issues. Sorrell has denied any wrongdoing.

Sorrell’s announcement seemingly leaves the door wide open for Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan, who planned to challenge Sorrell for the second time in four years.

Donovan, who is in his third term as county prosecutor, lost the Democratic primary to Sorrell in 2012 by about 700 votes.

It was the first time Sorrell faced what some would consider a serious challenger since being appointed.

Donovan announced in June he is again running for the Democratic nomination.

Vermont’s primaries are set for Aug. 9, 2016. Its general election is set for Nov. 8, 2016.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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