Successor to Continue Snelling's Policies
MONTPELIER, VT. — GOV. Richard Snelling, a Republican who prided himself on his businessman's approach to government, died at home Tuesday night. He was serving his fifth term.Lt. Gov. Howard Dean, a Democrat, who was sworn in as Vermont's 78th governor on Wednesday, promised to continue Governor Snelling's fiscal policies and said there would be no personnel changes. "Since his election last year, Governor Snelling led our state through some of the most difficult economic times in its history. His leadership and vision put Vermont on a path to financial responsibility, and I intend to follow it," Governor Dean said. President Bush, on board Air Force One Wednesday, said, "I want to express my sincere condolences to ... the Snelling family." Snelling served four two-year terms as governor from 1976 through 1984 and then made for an unsuccessful US Senate bid against incumbent Democrat Patrick Leahy. He was reelected governor last fall, defeating former state Senate President Peter Welch. When Snelling returned to the helm, he faced revenue shortfalls and a looming deficit. Under his leadership, the Legislature put into place a package of tax increases and spending cuts. Snelling, known for his personal abrasiveness, began his political career in the Vermont Legislature in 1959.