State Senator Vince Illuzzi files petitions to run for Vermont Auditor
State Senator Vince Illuzzi on Thursday filed his nominating petitions to seek the office of Vermont State Auditor as a Vermont Republican. Illuzzi, 58, had considered a run for attorney general or a return to the Vermont Senate, in which he has served since 1980. There had been some speculation that the Essex County state's attorney might run as an independent. But Illuzzi, 58, settled all those questions this morning. Democrat Doug Hoffer, of Burlington, is also in the race. He lost two years ago to incumbent Tom Salmon. Salmon is not seeking re-election.
Although a formal campaign announcement will come at a later date, Illuzzi issued a statement explaining his decision:
“Thanks to the fine public servants who have recently held the office of auditor, Randy Brock and Tom Salmon, the state auditor’s office has increasingly become an effective watchdog for the taxpayer.
In addition to seeing that the state’s financial reports are accurate, timely and transparent, the auditor can and must ferret out unnecessary spending, and recommend ways to get better results for Vermonters who pay the bills.
Over the next decade, Vermonters will face serious financial challenges. We’re now spending over $5 billion every year.
I’ve worked hard for the people in public service, for over 30 years as an effective state senator and for14 years as Essex County state’s attorney. This experience has given me the tools needed to do the auditor’s job well, and in a non-partisan manner.
When I entered the political arena as a Republican almost a third of a century ago, I quickly found myself voting as a moderate Vermont Republican. In those early years, I served with independent thinking individuals like Senators Arthur Gibb, Robert Gannett and George Little. They too were moderate Vermont Republicans.
I learned from them that Vermont leaders have a responsibility to act in the best interest of all Vermonters regardless of party affiliation.
In researching various issues over the past three decades, I learned about the positions taken by some of the great independent Republicans in Vermont history such as Ernest Gibson of Brattleboro, Franklin Billings of Woodstock, George Aiken of Putney, Robert Stafford of Rutland and Jim Jeffords of Shrewsbury. They served as role models with statesmanlike abilities to meet the important challenges and issues of their day. And the Vermont we know today is in large part thanks to their legacy.
The backbone of Vermont’s character and pride is the long tradition of common sense and extreme fortitude to do the right thing for the right reasons without fanfare or political gain.
I have been elected as a Republican and Democrat for 12 years. I considered running for this position as an Independent, but decided in the final analysis to run as the independent Vermont Republican I am.
I concluded that I have always been an independent, moderate Vermont Republican, working well and effectively with Democrats, Republicans and Progressives. I think you will agree that most recently, Jim Douglas and Brian Dubie fit that mold.
I pledge to all Vermonters that my spirit and commitment is to follow in the footsteps of those before me and to continue the proud tradition of strong independent core values that has made Vermont a great place in which to live and work.
I look forward to the opportunities that lay ahead and to diligently serve in the best interest of all Vermonters. “