James (Jim) DOUGLAS was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives straight out of college. He rose through the leadership ranks quickly, selected as assistant majority leader in his second term and majority leader in his third term when he was just 25. Douglas retired from the legislature in 1979 to become a top aide to Governor Richard Snelling. In 1980, he was elected secretary of state, a post he held until 1992winning reelection five times and receiving the nomination of both parties on three occasions. He was elected state treasurer in 1994. As treasurer, he helped Vermont's bond rating be the best in New England and one of the best in the nation. He was elected governor of Vermont in November 2002.