Essex Orleans senator Vince Illuzzi is moving closer to seeking the Republican nomination for State Auditor. Illuzzi is gathering the necessary petition signatures to run in that race and the deadline for filing is a week from Thursday.
Illuzzi says he’s drawn to this race because incumbent Auditor Tom Salmon has decided not to seek re-election.
Illuzzi has been elected to 16 terms in the Vermont Senate from Essex and Orleans counties and he says this year might be the right time for him to consider new challenges.
"I’ve been in the Vermont Senate for 32 years more than half of my life and the last 8 years I’ve served on the Senate Appropriations committee," said Illuzzi. "And after doing a job for which most people would retire because of the length of service I want to stay involved but perhaps approach state government from a different perspective."
Illuzzi says one of his top priorities as Auditor would be to conduct comprehensive performance audits of state programs. For instance, he wants to know if a change in Vermont’s Estate tax law has resulted in a flight of wealthy people from the state.
"Serving as State Auditor would give me an opportunity to look at questions and issues that have come up as a member of the General Assembly but for which there simply isn’t the time to do the thorough analysis to see how programs and policies are impacting the business community, the welfare of Vermonters, the overall climate of Vermont as we known it."
One of the biggest decisions facing Illuzzi involves party affiliation. While he’s thinking about running as an independent, in the end, it’s likely that he’ll seek the Republican nomination.
"That’s what I keep harking back to that regardless of the letter after my name, which at the present time by the way is Republican and Democrat," said Illuzzi. "That I would simply maintain the status quo and do what I’ve done working well and effectively with my colleagues regardless of their party label."
Rutland Senator Kevin Mullin is also considering his options for the Auditor’s race. Illuzzi and Mullin both say they want to avoid a primary for the Republican nomination.