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Vermont Rep. Welch Won't Run for Governor

Welch is running for re-election and not for governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vermont's Democratic Rep. Peter Welch announced Friday morning that he will run for re-election to his at-large district and not return to the Green Mountain State to run for governor.  

After Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin said earlier this month that he would not seek a fourth term, speculation immediately turned to the five-term congressman as a strong contender who could clear the Democratic field.  

"While being governor would be a distinct honor, I believe I can best serve Vermonters by continuing the hard work of getting Congress back to work for Vermont and the nation," Welch said in a statement emailed to the press Friday morning.  

While Welch had said all along that it was unlikely he would choose to leave Washington, he had left the door open to a gubernatorial bid, saying he would consult his family.  

Welch acknowledged in his statement that serving in the minority hasn't been easy, and he took a shot at the tea party, specifically.  

"There is no question that being in the majority is far superior," he said. "Yet, I have found that bringing Vermont's values, our civility, and our practical way of doing business to this job every day yields results for Vermonters regardless of who controls Congress."  

Welch won his last election by 33 points, and his current contest is rated Safe Democrat by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.

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