BuzzFeed: Shumlin finalizes divorce

Gov. Peter Shumlin, with his wife, Deb, at his first inauguration. Photo by Terry Allen

Gov. Peter Shumlin, with his wife, Deb, at his first inauguration. Photo by Terry Allen

Gov. Peter Shumlin and his wife, Deborah Holway, were divorced on March 19, 2013.

BuzzFeed — the D.C.-based news and entertainment site — broke the news in a story published yesterday evening.

Dawn Sanborn, the court operations manager for the Family Division of the Windham Superior Court, confirmed that divorce papers were filed on March 18. The divorce was finalized the following day. The couple had been separated for four years.

The BuzzFeed story addressed marriage equality, and the news of the governor’s divorce surfaced in the following passage:

“Shumlin, who is divorced from his wife, joked that he initially couldn’t understand why gay couples would even want to ‘hop onto that bridge,’ he said. ‘Heterosexuals are only getting it right half of the time, or less — myself included — so if you have half of the people getting across a bridge and the other half are falling into the river, you wouldn’t lure more people onto it.’”

Shumlin released the following statement today: “Even though divorce is a sad occasion, Deb and I will be forever blessed by many extraordinary years together and two remarkable daughters. No parents could ask for a greater gift than Olivia and Becca, and Deb and I are grateful that we remain friends and will continue to share our strong family. We make this statement in light of my public office, but Deb and I will have no further comment on this private issue.”

Shumlin’s spokesperson, Sue Allen, initially declined to comment on whether the governor had plans to remarry. Allen later told VTDigger that she could confirm that Shumlin has no current plans to remarry.

Last fall, Shumlin completed construction of a new house in East Montpelier. He has lived in central Vermont since he became governor; previously, he hailed from Putney, where he lived with his wife and daughters and helped to run his family’s business, Putney Student Travel.

This story was updated at 3:15 p.m. on April 3 to reflect updated comments from Shumlin spokesperson, Sue Allen.

Alicia Freese


  1. Ann Young :

    Don’t you think it was both rude and tacky to ask if the man plans to remarry? Geez, the divorce papers were only signed two weeks ago. That question, and the need to publish the response, were both in poor taste.

  2. Ed Clark :

    Our Governor is one of the most sane and decent men in the United States of America.

  3. Michael Keane :

    Divorce is one’s own business.

    However, when there’s an opportunity to use divorce to sell space or air, media vultures will seize upon it. To wit, the BuzzFeed — the D.C.-based news and “entertainment” site, is the source of the story.

    Let’s ignore the source and go on about our lives, and let Governor Shumlin and his former wife go on about theirs in peace.

  4. Jim Barrett :

    I find this story amazing that it came via a D.C. news report and not by a local newspaper or tv station. Thanks for the out of state new organization for this news story.



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