Essex-Orleans Senator Vince Illuzzi has filed papers to run as the Republican candidate for auditor.
Illuzzi had been considering campaigning as an Independent. But he said he decided to enter the race on the GOP ticket because he identifies strongly with Republican moderates such as former Vermont Senator Robert Stafford and former Governor Jim Douglas.
"Many of my colleagues at the Statehouse suggested that running as an independent would make it easier for them to support me," Illuzzi said, as he dropped off his petitions at the Secretary of State’s office. "And when you have people in earnest telling you that they would like you to run as an independent, I gave it serious consideration to the point of collecting over 500 signatures that were necessary. But in the end, I concluded that I could be just as effective by running as an independent Vermont Republican."
Illuzzi also serves as state’s attorney for Essex County. He said he would use his experience as a prosecutor and lawmaker in the auditor’s post.
He declined to outline specific initiatives he would launch as auditor. He said he plans to get into more detail at an official campaign kick-off later this summer.
But he said he would focus on assessing the performance of state government programs.
"It really is about looking at programs to see if they are performing as envisioned by the general assembly as expected by the public and not resulting in any unintended consequences," he said.
Illuzzi faces Democrat-Progressive Doug Hoffer in the November election. Hoffer has a law degree and has worked for two decades as a policy analyst, including a stint in the auditor’s office under former auditor Ed Flanagan.
"I plan to be a hands-on auditor," Hoffer said. "And with regard to performance audits and performance reviews, one of the things I’m going to tell voters is that when I was under contract for Ed Flanagan that’s one of the things I did 15 years ago. And I’ve been doing it in my private work as well. So I have a lot of experience in this area."
Hoffer also said he wants to increase public disclosure of the auditor’s office by putting its budget on line. He said he looks forward to a vigorous discussion with Illuzzi about what each would do as auditor.