Tag Archives: Dick Mallary

Elder statesman Mallary dead at 82

BROOKFIELD — Richard Mallary, the farmer-legislator who climbed Vermont’s political ranks all the way to the U.S. House of Representatives, died at his home Tuesday after a battle with cancer. He was 82.
During a political career that spanned four decades, Mallary came to personify a Yankee Republicanism that straddled ideologies.
Colleagues and friends on Wednesday remembered Mallary as a fiscal conservative whose party loyalties during the Watergate scandal cost him political capital back home.
But arguably his most enduring legacy, they say, is as the socially liberal Republican whose vote for civil unions in 2000 helped lead the controversial measure through the Statehouse.
“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,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said in a statement. “Dick’s passing is a loss for Vermont, and particularly for those of us who respected him and considered him a friend.”
A native of Springfield, Mass., Mallary left his Bradford dairy farm in 1961 to begin the first of what would be four terms in the Vermont House of Representatives. He became a key figure in the “Young Turks,” an alliance of liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats who spearheaded a progressive legislative agenda that included the abolition of the poll tax.
“Dick was a problem solver who had the needs of Vermonters at his very core,” said House Speaker Shap Smith. “He was someone who would put aside partisan politics to do the right thing, and he will be missed.”

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