Gov. Peter Shumlin's Election Day troubles didn't end at Vermont's borders. In addition to his own-near defeat, Shumlin suffered heavy losses in gubernatorial races throughout the country as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.
Now, according to Politico, Shumlin is expected to hand over the DGA reins to a new chairman: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Bullock, a freshman governor whose own reelection bid is slated for 2016, would succeed [Shumlin] in the position, POLITICO has learned. A source familiar with DGA leadership discussions added that Bullock is likely to step down from the post after a year to focus on his reelection.
The DGA is convening in early December to vote on its new leadership slate. A Bullock aide confirmed that the governor is asking colleagues to back his bid at that meeting.
According to Politico, Bullock may be succeeded in the heavy election year of 2016 by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Shumlin's departure from the DGA's leadership ranks has been expected. Most chairmen serve a single year in the post, but Shumlin served two. The day after the election, Shumlin confirmed at a Burlington press conference that he would not seek a leadership role in the organization when his term expires next month.
Shumlin's tenure at the DGA was decidedly mixed. In 2013, he presided over a big win in Virginia, where Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe bested then-attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, a conservative Republican. The DGA did not invest significant resources in that year's other gubernatorial race, in which New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, cruised to reelection.
In 2014, Democratic leaders hoped gains in the nation's governorships would make up for expected losses in the U.S. Senate. But on Election Day, many of the DGA's top recruits went down.
Democrats failed to defeat Republican incumbents in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kansas and Georgia. They even lost in the blue states of Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois and Maine. Several Democratic incumbents — in Connecticut, Colorado, New Hampshire, Oregon, Minnesota and even, of course, Vermont — barely clung to their seats.
Shumlin's departure from the DGA will lose him national clout, but will free him up to spend time more time in Vermont. Given Republican opponent Scott Milne's criticism of his out-of-state travel, that could be a good thing.