MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont State Rep. Paul Poirier is no longer running for speaker of the House.

The Barre independent sent an email to House members of Wednesday saying he has dropped his plans to challenge Democratic incumbent Speaker Shap Smith because he says he couldn't win.

According to reports, Poirier said he didn't want to waste time on a hopeless challenge and start the new session with bad feelings.

The House will elect a speaker when the legislative session opens on Jan. 9.


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