Former Vermont congressman Richard Mallary, 82

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Former Vermont congressman Richard Mallary, 82

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 7:45am -- tim

Richard Mallary, the independent-minded dairy farmer from Orange County and former congressman, has died, according to Governor Shumlin's office. He was 82. Mallary, a Republican, took over as Vermont's lone member in the US House of Representatives after Robert Stafford joined the US Senate. Mallory served in the 92nd Congress and was re-elected to the 93rd, serving until 1975. Mallary ran unsuccessfully for Vermont's other open Senate seat against Patrick Leahy in 1974. Jim Jeffords succeeded Mallary in Congress. Mallary twice served terms in the Vermont House (1961-1969; 1999-2003), including as Speaker from 1966 to 1968. He served one term in the state Senate (1969-1970). He also served as an executive for Central Vermont Public Service and president of Vermont Electric Power Company. 
Senator Patrick Leahy said in a statement: ‘He reflected the best values of his state, his family and his party, and Vermont benefited from his service, integrity and character. All of us who knew him were better for it.’
Governor Peter Shumlin issued the following statement: ‘Dick Mallary devoted his life to public service, starting at age 21 when he was elected chair of his local selectboard in Fairlee and continuing through his ‘Young Turk’ and subsequent years in the Vermont House and the state Senate, and his tenure representing Vermont in the US House of Representatives. He was a man who put the interests of this state and all Vermonters ahead of party politics, a commitment reflected in his support of civil unions that was key to passage of the important legislation. Dick’s passing is a loss for Vermont, and particularly for those of us who respected him and considered him a friend.’ 
US Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) said in a statement: "Dick Mallary dedicated his life to making Vermont a better place to live and work. In the model of George Aiken and Bob Stafford, he was a humble statesman who put party differences aside for the good of our state. Whether as a select board member, state legislator, state official, Member of Congress, or corporate leader, he selflessly served our state well and will be missed by his family and all whose lives he touched."
US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) issued the following statement: ‘Dick Mallary was one of the outstanding public servants in recent Vermont history and I was very sad to learn of his passing. Dick was a leader in the Vermont Legislature, and served Vermont proudly in the US House of Representatives. The last time I saw Dick he was still serving his community as member of the board of trustees of Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. Dick was a wonderful human being who represented the best of Vermont. He will be greatly missed.’ 
Vermont Republican Chair Pat McDonald issued the following statement: "My heart and prayers go out to the Mallary family. Congressman Mallary was a true public servant first serving in the VT House then the VT Senate and later as our Congressman. During his long and distingushed career he was a true gentleman and statesman. Vermont is a better place because of his effort and service." 
Speaker Shap Smith issued the following statement: ‘Dick Mallary was the model public servant.  He was deeply committed to upholding the highest values of our state’s citizen democracy. He fought for what was right, not for what would make a good sound bite or campaign slogan.  As Speaker, Dick presided over the Vermont House of Representatives with boldness, foresight and respect for the institution as it was transformed from a 246 seat to a 150 seat chamber. In each office, he served his constituents and his state with true dedication and great honor, inspiring generations of public servants.  Dick will leave Vermont a lasting legacy we should all be proud of.  My thoughts go out to his family in this difficult time.’ 
Mallary was born in Springfield, MA, moved to Fairlee, VT, and went to Dartmouth College before starting his political career on the local level before moving up. He also served in the administrations of Governors Richard Snelling and Jim Douglas.