- Associated Press - Monday, November 28, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The leader of majority Democrats in the Vermont House is dropping her bid to become the state’s next speaker.

Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas tells The Burlington Free Press she’s no longer seeking the position because Rep. Mitzi Johnson has more support among Democratic lawmakers.

Johnson, a Democrat from South Hero, is now unopposed in the election.

Johnson has served as the chair of the House Appropriations committee. She says she wants to bring a systematic approach to assessing and improving state government.

The Democratic Caucus plans to elect a nominee for speaker on Saturday. The entire House will then vote on that nominee in January.

Current speaker, Democratic Rep. Shap Smith, was defeated in his primary bid for lieutenant governor.

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