Salmon Re-elected As State Auditor

11/02/10 6:34AM By Susan Keese
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AP/Toby Talbot

(Host) Voters have re-elected Republican Thomas M. Salmon to a third term as state auditor. Salmon is a Bellows Falls native and the son of former Vermont Governor Thomas P. Salmon.

The younger Salmon defeated Doug Hoffer of Burlington, a self-employed policy analyst.

VPR's Susan Keese has more.

(Keese) Salmon says the first time he was elected, in 2006, he watched the returns from a Bellows Falls diner. He spent the 2008 election on active duty in Iraq with the Navy Reserve.

This time he followed the returns at Republican Headquarters at the Capital Plaza in Montpelier.

Salmon says as he traveled the state campaigning, the message was clear.

(Salmon) "Vermonters want more transparency. And I think people really feel that we've had a spending problem that's been going on for years and years and they want solutions."

(Keese) The fact that Salmon switched parties from Democrat to Republican earlier this year was expected by some to hurt his chances at re-election.

Salmon says the auditor's office isn't political - It's all about helping people be more efficient.

(Salmon) "Cause if they improve their process they're going to improve their results, whether it's a school or the DMV or any element of state government."

(Keese) Salmon also suffered an embarrassment with the recent release of a police video of his arrest for driving under the influence last  November. But it didn't seem to hurt him with the voters.

(Keese) Democrat Progressive Doug Hoffer attributed his loss in part to the fact that this was his first bid for public office.

(Hoffer) "There are three things, he's a two-term incumbent named Salmon, two, I'm a guy that nobody heard of outside of the policy world... "

(Keese) Third, Hoffer said, is that he's really a numbers guy, and nobody in the media wanted to talk about numbers.

For VPR News, I'm Susan Keese.

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