Shumlin Names Fox's Widower, Michael Sirotkin, to Vermont Senate | Off Message

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Shumlin Names Fox's Widower, Michael Sirotkin, to Vermont Senate

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday named South Burlington attorney and lobbyist Michael Sirotkin to replace his late wife, Sally Fox, in the Vermont Senate. 

Sirotkin was one of three candidates recommended to the governor last Wednesday by members of the Chittenden County Democratic Committee. The others were Williston Selectboard member Debbie Ingram and Burlington management consultant Dawn Ellis.

"There were several exceptional candidates interested in this Senate seat," Shumlin said in a written statement. "But Sally wanted her husband to fill her seat after her death, and recognizing Sirotkin's strong qualifications, I'm honoring that request. I'm confident that Michael will continue the great work Sally did for the district and the state."

Sirotkin was not immediately available for comment Monday, but last Wednesday he told Seven Days that the decision to seek Fox's seat was a difficult one. He did not publicly indicate an interest until Wednesday morning, prompting several leading candidates to withdraw from consideration. Fox died January 10 after a two-year illness.

"Sally and I talked about it several months ago and she wanted me to do it if I was willing to and felt able to," he said last week. "The decision-making has been very hard, but all the outpouring of support and love for her has made both the grieving as well as this decision a little bit clearer to me. I think I can continue her work and contribute something to the legislature."

Sirotkin said at the time that, if appointed, he would give up his day job as a Statehouse lobbyist and would divest himself of his stake in the firm he founded, Sirotkin & Necrason. In a press release announcing the appointment, Shumlin spokeswoman Sue Allen wrote, "Sirotkin said he will cease lobbying activities and is selling his interest in the firm."

He also said last week that, if appointed, he would "most likely run in 2014" for a full two-year term.

Sirotkin will not take office until February 11.

"In light of Sally's recent passing, I asked Michael to take a little time to himself before assuming his duties in the Senate," Shumlin explained.

Photo of Fox and Sirotkin courtesy of Tim Jerman.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact

About The Author

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz

Paul Heintz was part of the Seven Days news team from 2012 to 2020. He served as political editor and wrote the "Fair Game" political column before becoming a staff writer.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Off Message

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation