Peter Clavelle

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Peter Clavelle
Peter Clavelle.jpg
38th Mayor of Burlington
In office
April 4, 1989 – April 5, 1993
Preceded byBernie Sanders
Succeeded byPeter C. Brownell
In office
April 3, 1995 – April 1, 2006
Preceded byPeter C. Brownell
Succeeded byBob Kiss
Personal details
Born (1949-05-10) May 10, 1949 (age 73)
Winooski, Vermont, U.S.
Political partyProgressive (1989–2004, 2005–present)
Other political
Democratic (2004)
Independent (before 1989)
Spouse(s)Besty Ferries
EducationSaint Anselm College (BA)
Syracuse University (MPA)

Peter A. Clavelle (born May 10, 1949) is an American politician who served as the 38th and 40th Mayor of Burlington, Vermont and was the first member of a third party to hold the office since James Edmund Burke in 1935.[1]

Early life and education

Peter A. Clavelle was born on May 10, 1949 to Raymond and Eleanor Clavelle in Winooski, Vermont. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in urban studies from Saint Anselm College and a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University.[2]


In 1961, he was elected mayor of Winooski for a day by his Boy Scout troop.[3] In 1972 he was appointed as Castleton's town manager and in 1976 was appointed as Winooski's city manager. During Bernie Sanders' tenure as mayor of Burlington, Clavelle served as Burlington's personnel director and later as director of the Community and Economic Development Office from 1983 to 1989.

1989–1993 mayoral terms

Clavelle was elected mayor in 1989 as a Progressive.[1] During the 1993 mayoral election he raised almost twice as much money as his Republican opponent Peter C. Brownell although Brownell was able to take the Burlington police union's endorsement from Clavell.[4][5] On March 3 Brownell unexpectedly defeated Clavelle with 5,410 votes to 4,686 votes. Clavelle stated that he lost due to the controversy over his proposal (which was passed) to have the city pay for healthcare benefits for domestic partners of city workers.[6]

1995–2006 mayoral terms

Clavelle returned to the mayor's office two years later in 1995 continuing to hold the position until 2006.[7]

In 2004, Clavelle ran for Governor as a Democrat against incumbent Governor Jim Douglas and four other candidates. In order to run in the Democratic Party primary, Clavelle had to change party affiliation, as required by state law.[8] He received the endorsement of five-term former Democratic Governor Howard Dean, but was defeated, 38% to 59%.[9]

Clavelle did not seek re-election to an eighth term as mayor in the 2006 Burlington mayoral election.[10] Bob Kiss succeeded Clavelle as mayor in April 2006.

In 2012, Clavelle moved to Albania as a staff member on a USAID-funded local governance project.[1] He returned to Vermont in 2016.[7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kelley, Kevin J. (February 29, 2012). "A Former Mayor's New Direction".
  2. "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Peter Clavelle". Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  3. "Peter Clavelle: Former mayor is back in the trenches". The Burlington Free Press. February 26, 1995. p. 40. Archived from the original on December 8, 2019 – via
  4. "Clavelle holds fund-raising edge in mayor's race". The Burlington Free Press. February 23, 1993. p. 4. Archived from the original on December 1, 2019 – via
  5. "Burlington's police union backs Brownell". The Burlington Free Press. February 23, 1993. p. 16. Archived from the original on December 1, 2019 – via
  6. "Brownell Wins". The Burlington Free Press. March 3, 1993. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 1, 2019 – via
  7. 7.0 7.1 Kelley, Kevin J. (May 25, 2016). "He's Back: Peter Clavelle on Bernie, the Mall and Life in Albania". Seven Days (in English). Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  8. Baruth, Philip (March 16, 2008). "The VDB Sit-Down With Anthony Pollina". Vermont Daily Briefing. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  9. "VT Elections Database » Search Elections". VT Elections Database (in English). Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  10. Freyne, Peter (September 7, 2005). "Bye, Bye Mayor Moonie!". Seven Days (in English). Retrieved March 29, 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mayor of Burlington
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mayor of Burlington
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Democratic nominee for Governor of Vermont
Succeeded by