- Associated Press - Monday, September 28, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said Monday he would not seek re-election next year.

Sorrell said it had been an honor to serve the people of Vermont for more than 18 years and that while he will be leaving office he doesn’t plan on retiring.

“I won’t mind coming January of ‘17 slowing down a bit. I am open to any number of options going forward,” Sorrell, a Democrat, said Monday.

Sorrell, 68, was appointed attorney general by former Gov. Howard Dean in 1997. Sorrell first ran for re-election in 1998 and has been re-elected every two years since.

When he asked what he felt was his greatest accomplishment during his years as Vermont’s top law enforcement office, Sorrell did not point to any specific legal cases.

“I think a major accomplishment has just been the caliber of the people I’ve been able to hire and retain,” he said.

“We have won the vast majority of the cases we’ve been involved in, both small and large,” he said. “Millions and millions of dollars have been returned to Vermont consumers (through consumer protection cases) and my office has brought hundreds of millions of dollars into state coffers from successful enforcement actions.”

In 2012 Sorrell narrowly survived a primary challenge from Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan, who has already announced he plans to seek his party’s nomination for the post next year.

Sorrell said that in 2010 he told supporters he planned to run two more times.

And he said his decision had nothing to do with Republican complaints that he’d violated state campaign finance laws. A special investigative panel is now reviewing those complaints.

Donovan announced in June that he planned to once again seek his party’s nomination to run for attorney general. He said he would focus on several issues for the state - consumer protection, the heroin epidemic, criminal justice reform, campaign finance and environmental protection.

On Monday, Donovan, 41, thanked Sorrell for his decades of service to Vermont.

“I wish him sell. I thank him,” Donovan said. “I hope that whatever he chooses to do in the future it is successful for him.”

Donovan said he didn’t want to focus on his plans yet, but he said he planned to launch his campaign on Oct. 15 in Burlington.

It’s unclear if any Republicans are considering running for the post.

Before he became attorney general Sorrell was serving as administration secretary in the Dean administration. Before that he had served as Chittenden County state’s attorney, the same post now held by Donovan.

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