The position doesn't grab many headlines but the candidates to be the state's top spending and efficiency watchdog say it's one of the most important.
"I don't think the office has been well focused over the last couple of years and I intend to bring that focus back," said Doug Hoffer, the Democratic/Progressive candidate for Auditor.
"This is the position where I can best put my experience to use...at improving the efficiency of state government," said Sen. Vince Illuzzi, the Republican candidate for Auditor.
Whichever candidate wins in November will be tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of state programs in service as well as dollars and cents.
"My skill set and experience are a perfect fit. I've been a policy analyst for 24 years, five of those working for the state auditor," Hoffer said.
"You have to know more than the numbers, you have to understand how government works and how it's supposed to work," Illuzzi said.
Sen. Illuzzi argues that intimate knowledge of how bills passed will help him gauge how well bills are working as originally intended. Hoffer contends that distance, and a wonkish grasp of the finances are more valuable.
"This job in particular, of all the state-wide offices, I think, is the one that is least amenable to having a career politician in it," Hoffer said
"For the last eight years I have been one of the seven people who have written the state's annual five billion dollar budget," Illuzzi said.
The pair also disagree on the reach of the auditors office. Illuzzi said the recent revelation that the judiciary's 1.7 million dollar computer has proven to be a lemon, highlights a need for best practices reform for major purchases. "We have to get a handle on those types of expenditures because the taxpayer's money is not being well spent," he said.
"It appears they made a poor choice in their selection vendor. I don't think the auditor can intervene in advance of a decision by a department like that," Hoffer said.
Illuzzi released a plan calling for more oversight of time cards in the wake of a pay scandal in the Vermont State Police, but Hoffer countered that many of his proposals are already on the books.
On November sixth, voters will decide if Illuzzi's long tenure in elected state public office continues, or if Hoffer's will begin.
Thus far in the race, Sen. Illuzzi has outspent and out raised Hoffer. Illuzzi has raised more than 74-thousand dollars and spent all but about 5-thousand of that. Hoffer raised just less than 50-thousand dollars thus far has about 14-thousand on hand. Illuzzi has also benefited from the backing of the super Pac - Vermonter's First.
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