Privilege to serve
The race for auditor is over, but the struggle for working Vermonters and for making Vermont work goes on. I wish Doug Hoffer the best as he undertakes the responsibilities of the auditor’s office.
Over the 32 years I have served in the State Senate, and over the months I have traveled around this wonderful state campaigning, I have been proud to be involved in a political system where, as Gerald Ford said when he became president in 1974, “Here, the people rule.”
Sometimes, as in this election, the result isn’t what we individually may have wished, but there’s no better process. We are lucky to be in a state where the kind of campaign that makes a difference is the kind that puts candidates in front of voters to hear concerns and to come up with answers that will address them.
This is not a state where big money talks, where negative campaigns succeed and where the consultants are more important than the constituents. In my race, I never said a bad word about anyone and tried to keep the message on my accomplishments and Vermont’s needs.
A lot has changed in Vermont since I was first elected to the Senate in 1980. Government has grown, and has had to address ever more complex issues. To some extent, the parties have become more polarized, and significant elements in both parties have sometimes seemed more interested in proving a point than in solving a problem.
National parties have priorities that differ from Vermont’s, and political action committees have their own agendas. I sought the office of Auditor, and tried to keep independent of national parties and PACs, because I believe there needs to be a concerted effort to hold government accountable, to ensure that Vermonters’ precious tax dollars produce the greatest possible value. That goal will be one for which I will continue to work in the days and months ahead.
I want to congratulate Doug Hoffer on a good campaign. I want to thank my family and my supporters from all parts of the political spectrum, as well as the organizations who chose to endorse me. Disappointing my son, who I never thought had much interest in politics, has been the hardest thing about losing.
For me, I enjoyed the campaign and the chance to meet people all around our great state.
Public service has not been a job, but a privilege and an opportunity to make our state, our country and our world a better place.
State Sen. Vince Illuzzi lives in Newport.