WILMINGTON — Citing personal reasons, Rep. John Gannon, D-Windham-6, will not be seeking reelection.
“The amount of time I have to spend in Montpelier and don’t get to spend time in Wilmington or get to see my wife, that’s the basic reason,” he said Wednesday in an interview.
Gannon shared the news with the Wilmington Select Board on Tuesday. He also is the board’s vice chairman.
Board Chairman Tom Fitzgerald thanked Gannon for his service as a legislator. Gannon and others from his party are looking for a Democratic candidate to run in his place.
Gannon said he worked on the state’s pension system and redistricting legislative maps all year. He described getting a lot done during his six years in office.
“I’m proud of that,” he said.
Legislating via Zoom all day early on in the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult, Gannon said. He didn’t like not being able to talk with fellow lawmakers in the halls and elsewhere in the Statehouse.
A task force for making changes to the pension system met during the summer when the Legislature wasn’t in session.
“We were negotiating on Christmas day,” he said.
Gannon told the Reformer he had one month off in the past year. The pension task force met from July until January.
Gannon said he was “very lucky” to be able to collaborate on a number of important projects, including creating the first racial equity office director, the first ethics commission in Vermont and the first code of ethics for the state.
“I was involved in drafting every piece of cannabis legislation that we passed out of the House,” he said, including bills that legalized the drug and then set up a regulatory market.
He also helped develop a first statewide 401(k) plan program for state employees.
“I think I’ve accomplished more in my six years than most people accomplish in a much longer career,” said Gannon, who has served as vice chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations.
Gannon, who informed House Speaker Jill Krowinksi that he won’t be returning to the Statehouse, said a lot of legislators chairing committees aren’t seeking reelection or they’re seeking other offices.
“That will be a challenge,” he said. “I think we are losing 35 members of the House in total that I know of and 11 members in the Senate, including both our Windham County senators.”
Gannon’s term on the Select Board is ending in March. He said he hasn’t thought about whether he will run for reelection.
“I enjoy the Select Board a lot,” he said. “We have a good team. So we’ll see.”