A poll on the Isle of Man Today’s website yesterday found that former Isle of Man treasurer Allan Bell, who now heads the island’s economic development department, is the No. 1 choice to succeed Brown, with the backing of 25% of the readers who opted to vote (as of midnight last night).
The website readers’ second choice, with 21% of the votes cast, was xxx Steve Rodan, followed by “someone else” with a 20% share.
Brown, whose formidable, now-silver-coloured handlebar moustache has made him a distinctive face in the House of Key, as the IoM legislature is known, began his career in IoM politics in 1976.
In a statement, Brown said he had been fortunate to have been able to serve the people of Castletown and the island for as long as he did.
"As a political representative I have always endeavoured to be accessible, approachable and open with people,” he added.
"I have also endeavoured to act impartially and with integrity."
It was during Brown’s watch that the Isle of Man saw the local branch of an Icelandic Bank, Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander, collapse with the fall of the parent company, leaving hundreds of bank customers out-of-pocket. The island also weathered scrutiny from the UK and other G20 governments keen to find a scapegoat for their financial troubles in 2008, and an unexpected change in the value-added-tax sharing system between the UK and the Isle of Man, which left the island less well off than before to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue.