Friday, December 22
BRATTLEBORO -- While Tom Salmon is getting ready to take over his new office in Montpelier, outgoing State Auditor Randy Brock is considering his options for the next two years.

But for the next few weeks, Brock said he is going to be getting the auditor's office ready for its new occupant, and then he will turn to other things.

Rockingham Democrat Thomas M. Salmon won the state auditor's race in a recount Thursday, more than six weeks after the election, overturning what had appeared to be incumbent Randy Brock's re-election.

Washington Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout declared Salmon the victor by 102 votes, the first time a statewide election has ever been overturned by a hand recount of ballots, according to the state archivist's office.

The final tally gave Salmon 111,770 votes and Republican Brock 111,668.

"For a short time at least I am going to do absolutely nothing and be very diligent about doing it," said Brock, about the free time on his horizon.

Brock will also be looking forward to the 2008 election -- "684 days to be exact," he said. "But who's counting?" While he didn't rule out running for another statewide office in 2008, he wouldn't say what office that might be.

Brock said he will be offering a few words of advice to Salmon next week when they meet.

"We have an excellent staff that has been put in place the past two years that has embarked on a number of projects that will produce significant dividends and benefits to the state," he said.


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"My advice is that those are works that should continue."

Salmon said Thursday he looked forward to "building on the programs and reforms already in place."

The Secretary of State's office certified Brock the winner by 137 votes a week after the election after tallying each town clerk's votes. Salmon asked for a recount and it turned out that some of his votes had been mistakenly attributed to Liberty Union candidate Jerry Levy on the first count.

Brock said he accepted the results of the recount and had called Salmon a day earlier to concede the race.

"I do not believe it would be in Vermont's best interest to contest the election," he said.

Salmon said the recount proved that every vote counts in a small state like this, and that "every Vermonter counts."

"I was humbled by my loss," he said. "To turn around and win is amazing and an honor."

Salmon's election to statewide office follows a family tradition. His father, Thomas P. Salmon, served four years as Vermont's governor during the 1970s. The elder Salmon, a lawyer, represented his son in court Thursday.

Brock said in the new year, he has opportunities to work with the National Alzheimer's Association and the International College Foundation. He also said he is also considering a pair of offers to be a board director, though he would not say what organizations have made those offers.

"These past two years have been an absolutely great experience," said Brock, about his term as state auditor, adding he plans on staying in the Green Mountain State.

"I've been here 37 years," he said. "I don't plan on going anywhere."


The Associated Press contributed to this report. Bob Audette can be reached at raudette@reformer.com or (802) 254-2311, ext. 271.