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T. Garry Buckley, 89, former lieutenant governor of Vermont

T. Garry Buckley on the campaign trail in Bennington, Vt., in 1980. He also worked as a real estate broker and helped many families buy their first house.

Associated Press

T. Garry Buckley on the campaign trail in Bennington, Vt., in 1980. He also worked as a real estate broker and helped many families buy their first house.

STOWE, Vt. — Former lieutenant governor T. Garry Buckley, a Republican who won the office ­despite losing a general election, has died at age 89.

Mr. Buckley’s family said he died peacefully of old age Wednesday in Stowe, where he lived with his wife.

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Mr. Buckley became lieutenant governor in 1977 after losing the general election the year before. No candidate received a majority, so the Legislature picked the victor.

Democrat John Alden won 48.4 percent of the popular vote, Mr. Buckley won 47.6 percent, and John Franco, of the Liberty Union, won 4 percent. In the joint session of the Legislature, Mr. ­Buckley won 90 votes, Alden 87, and Franco one. Mr. Buckley served until 1979.

One of his sons, David, said he will remember his father as a ‘‘very strong man’’ who was ‘‘a role model for everyone.’’

He said his father worked for years as a well-respected real estate broker and not a day goes by that someone doesn’t say to him, ‘‘Your dad helped me buy my first house.’’

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