Rutland, Vt.-Robert Bloomer, the former president pro
tempore of the Vermont Senate and member of a prominent Rutland County
Republican family, has died.
Bloomer, 78, had battled cancer. He died Tuesday.
"He was a giant in the Senate," Gov. Howard Dean said. "If you wanted to get
anything through the Senate, you had to go through Bob Bloomer."
"The community has suffered a great loss," Rutland Mayor John Cassarino said.
"Bob was very community-oriented throughout his life and he'll be greatly
Bloomer recently stepped down as chairman of the District 1 Environmental
Commission in Rutland because of failing health. He served as its chairman for
nearly nine years.
That position was hardly the first political post for Bloomer. He served in the
Senate in 1963-64, 1966 and from 1973 through 1984. He was president pro tem
from 1975 to 1984. A lawyer, he served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary
Committee for 10 years.
Sen. James Jeffords (R-Vt.) said Bloomer's influence held sway in Rutland and
across the state.
"He was a powerhouse," Jeffords said. He said Bloomer followed in the steps of
other family members. "The Bloomer name has been consistent for years with
service and good citizenship."
Bloomers have been involved in Republican politics for several generations. It
began with Robert Bloomer's father, Asa Bloomer, who served as Senate president
pro tem in the early 1960s. When Asa Bloomer suffered a heart attack in 1963,
Robert Bloomer was tapped to tak his place.
When Robert Bloomer retired in 1984, John Bloomer, his brother, won the seat.
John Bloomer served until 1995. He was killed in a car crash.
Sen. John Bloomer (R-Rutland) the nephew of Robert Bloomer and the son of the
late John Bloomer, now serves in the Senate as the Republicans' minority leader.