Lisman, a former executive at the New York investment bank Bear Stearns and founder of the advocacy group Campaign for Vermont, said Wednesday that he will not run for governor and would instead focus on the promotion of "common-sense government reforms."
Lisman said in an interview Wednesday that he listened to those who encouraged him to run against incumbent Gov. Peter Shumlin and decided "a little bit ago" not to run. He said his organization will focus on long-term solutions to Vermont's problems through its lobbying and policy efforts.
"I think we need a different approach that is nonpartisan and moderate," he said. "We want to spur a conversation (about Vermont issues) and being a candidate would undermine that notion and would obscure, not clarify, our effort."
Lisman, who many speculated would have run as an independent, said Campaign for Vermont would not endorse any political candidates.
"I think we are better off not being connected with any political party," he said.
His decision narrows the field of announced challengers for Shumlin to one, Emily Peyton of Putney, who announced last week that she had secured enough signatures to qualify for the Republican ballot. She does not have the backing of party officials, however, and North Pomfret businessman Scott Milne is weighing a run for the GOP nomination.