Vt auditor candidates reluctant to pick a party - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt auditor candidates reluctant to pick a party

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Vince Illuzzi Vince Illuzzi
Doug Hoffer Doug Hoffer
Jack Lindley Jack Lindley

Let the politicking begin.

"My goal is to get out there, meet as many people as I can and tell them about what I've done," Vince Illuzzi said.

"Having run two years ago some people know me. I have more name recognition than I did before I got 105,000 votes, so hopefully that will give me a leg up this time," Doug Hoffer said.

Doug Hoffer and Sen. Vince Illuzzi will face off in the upcoming auditor's race, but they're both reluctant to pick a party.

"I've been endorsed by the Democratic party and I will seek the endorsement of the Progressives as well," Hoffer said.

"I've collected over 500 signatures as a potential independent party candidate. I've also collected the 500 signatures to run as a Republican," Illuzzi said.

Illuzzi has been dancing around this decision for several months. First he considered a run for the attorney general's office, then was unsure if he would give up his 32-year senate seat to run for auditor. Now it's which letter will appear next to his name on the ticket.

GOP Chair Jack Lindley says he's been playing musical chairs. The music has stopped at a Republican seat.

"It has stopped now and he's running as a Republican. I'm very pleased about that," Lindley said.

Illuzzi however refuses to commit to a party. Both candidates are crossing party lines, a common tactic to pull appeal to a wider audience.

"I haven't decided officially but I'm leaning strongly toward running as a Republican, an independent Republican," Illuzzi said.

Unlike Doug Hoffer who ran for auditor against Tom Salmon back in 2008, Illuzzi says he struggles with statewide name recognition.

"Although I've been in the Legislature for a third of a century, the reality is that I'm not that well known around the state," Illuzzi said.

Hoffer says he's wary of the political process, but intends to push himself to get out this summer and press the flesh.

"I can get up and talk to people all day long if I have to. I'd prefer to talk about the work and not about Vince or my personality. Let's talk about the work and what we bring to the job," Hoffer said.

Both candidates say they'll be decisive when it comes to the issues despite their dancing between parties.

Neither Illuzzi nor Hoffer has filed a petition yet. They have one week to submit at least 500 signatures supporting their campaign.

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