The Vermont gubernatorial election of 2002 took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic Governor
Howard Dean did not run for re-election to a sixth full term as
Governor of Vermont. Republican
Jim Douglas defeated Democratic candidate
Doug Racine and independent candidate Cornelius Hogan, among others, to succeed him. Since no candidate received a majority in the popular vote, Douglas was elected by the
Vermont General Assembly per the state constitution.
The race was very close, with Douglas prevailing by just under 6,000 votes or 2.56%. In Vermont for statewide/executive races if no candidate receives 50% then the
Vermont General Assembly picks the winner. However, Racine declined to contest it further and conceded to Douglas. Ultimately it was Douglas's strong performance in
Rutland that carried him to victory. Racine did do well in populous
Burlington and greater
Chittenden County, but it ultimately did not suffice. Racine called Douglas at 12:38 P.M. EST and conceded defeat. Douglas would go on to be reelected three more times. Racine would run for Governor one last time in 2010, but narrowly lost the Democratic Primary to
Peter Shumlin. After the close contest, Shumlin chose Racine to be his Secretary of Human Servies. Racine stepped down from that post in 2014.