Four-term Burlington state representative and former mayoral candidate Jason Lorber will not seek reelection to the Vermont House, he announced Friday morning in an e-mail to supporters.
First elected to the legislature in 2004, Lorber was one of four Democrats to seek his party's nomination for mayor last fall, saying he would serve as "chief marketing officer" for the city. At the November Democratic caucus, Lorber won just 106 of 1309 votes on the first ballot and promptly withdrew from the race.
In his announcement, the consultant and stand-up comedian said he was proud of his work reforming the criminal justice system, supporting "farm-to-plate" initiatives and voting to legalize gay marriage. Lorber is one of just a handful of openly gay legislators in Vermont.
Lorber did not immediately return calls for comment on his decision to step down from the legislature, but he said in the announcement that he would "pursue other passions" and that "several exciting opportunities have presented themselves." He did not elaborate.
Lorber shares an Old North End district with fellow Democratic Rep. Jill Krowinski, who was appointed earlier this year to fill a seat vacated by Rachel Weston, who moved to Jordan to take a job with the National Democratic Institute. No other candidates have yet filed to run for the seat, according to the Vermont Secretary of State's office.
Former Rutland state representative Curt McCormack, who relocated to Burlington in 2008, said Friday he plans to run for the House seat Lorber is vacating.
An environmental consultant and electrical contractor, McCormack, a Democrat, has had a varied career. He served 14 years in the House before leaving to work for the state Agency of Transportation. McCormack lobbied for the Vermont Low-Income Advocacy Council and for the Vermont Public Research Interest Group. In 2005, he moved to Senegal to volunteer for the Peace Corps.
McCormack put his name forward in January to replace Weston when she announced she would resign her seat, but Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed Krowinski instead. McCormack said he had earlier contemplated running for the seat, but considers both Lorber and Krowinski friends and did not want to compete with them.
McCormack said that, if elected, he would work to extend the Ethan Allen Express rail line to Burlington and would advocate for a single-payer health care system.