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Citing Family Health Issues, Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris Resigns House Seat

Rep. Kiah Morris at a podium in March speaking about racial justice legislation
Peter Hirschfeld
/
VPR
Rep. Kiah Morris, seen here in March at the Statehouse, announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that she has resigned her seat in the Vermont House. This comes after an announcement last month that she was withdrawing from her re-election bid.

Bennington Rep. Kiah Morris has resigned her seat in the Vermont House of Representatives, saying family health problems will require her to “focus on caring for and supporting my family.”

Morris is the only black female lawmaker in the Vermont Legislature, but withdrew from her re-election campaign last month after becoming the target of alleged racial harassment.

In a Facebook post Tuesday evening, Morris said she initially planned to continue serving out her term, which expires in January. But she said her husband is now "beginning the long physical journey of recovery following extensive open-heart surgery.”

“I step away now to focus on caring for and supporting my family during this time of transition and ensure our health, safety and well-being are prioritized,” Morris said in the Facebook post.

Late last month, Attorney General TJ Donovan took over the investigation into allegations of racial harassment that Morris initially lodged with the Bennington Police Department. Morris has criticized the Bennington Police Department’s handling of the case; Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette has staunchly defended his agency’s work.

In her resignation announcement Tuesday, Morris said that she and her family "face continued harassment and seek legal remedies to the harm endured.”

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