Chris Dempsey, who campaigned against Boston’s 2024 Olympics bid and became a transportation advocate, is running for state auditor, he said Monday.
Dempsey, 38, worked as assistant secretary of transportation during former governor Deval Patrick’s administration, and also as a private-sector consultant. He gained attention in 2015 as a leader in the grass-roots campaign to quash Boston’s 2024 Olympics bid.
The Democrat pointed to that experience as crucial for a role like state auditor, an office tasked with probing state entities and contractors to ensure taxpayer funds are spent wisely.
“State auditor plays a critical role in making state government work better and protecting taxpayers,” Dempsey said in an interview. “I’ve had experiences standing up for the public interest against special interest, and that’s a crucial perspective for this role.”
A graduate of Harvard Business School, Dempsey has worked at Bain & Co., a consulting company. He plans to tell supporters via e-mail Tuesday morning that he is seeking the office.
Dempsey, of Brookline, had telegraphed that he planned to run, stepping down this month from his role as director of the Transportation for Massachusetts advocacy coalition and filing campaign finance paperwork for the role in June.
Three-term state Auditor Suzanne M. Bump announced in May that she would not seek reelection, setting off the race to replace her. Her departure creates an open seat in the office for just the second time in 36 years.
First elected in 2010 after longtime auditor A. Joseph DeNucci did not run for reelection, Bump took over an office where a review by the National State Auditors Association showed that some staff didn’t have adequate training, prompting her to fire 27 employees and reassign 14 others within months of taking office. In the decade since, it’s produced several high-profile audits that found dead people had received millions in welfare benefits and driver’s licenses, and that the state had lost track of 1,800 registered sex offenders.
State Senator Diana DiZoglio, a Methuen Democrat, is also running for the office, she announced in June.
As of the end of June, DiZoglio led Dempsey in cash on hand, with $225,000 to his nearly $70,000.
Governor’s Council member Eileen Duff announced, and then withdrew, a bid for auditor, too.
Dempsey, for his part, said voters can expect “a strong advocate for taxpayers and for making state government more efficient and more fair.”
Along with auditor, races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, and secretary of state will be among those on the state ballot in 2022.