State Senator Diana DiZoglio won the Democratic primary for state auditor, the Associated Press projected early Wednesday.
Transportation advocate Chris Dempsey trailed about 7 percentage points behind DiZoglio, and said in a text after midnight that he had conceded to DiZoglio and “look[s] forward to finding additional opportunities to contribute.”
In November, DiZoglio will face Anthony Amore, the director of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, who ran unopposed for the GOP nomination.
They are both hoping to succeed Auditor Suzanne M. Bump, who is not running for re-election.
The auditor’s office, which is responsible for regularly auditing the state’s 200-plus agencies, has not been known for making big news or having an outsized influence. The auditor’s main duty is to oversee the collection of data from a government entity, program, or contractor to identify misspending or neglect of duties.
DiZoglio, 39, has cast herself as a political outsider who will be aggressive in fighting for more transparency and accountability in state government. The Methuen Democrat and Wellesley College graduate was first elected to the Massachusetts House in 2012, and often talks about her experience pushing back on Beacon Hill leadership and fighting to end non-disclosure agreements in the public sector.
The senator said she decided to run for office after she signed a non-disclosure agreement after being sexually harassed as a State House legislative aide.
Before her time on Beacon Hill, DiZoglio worked for the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts as a chief of staff to the president, various nonprofit organizations, and owned a small cleaning business.
“Our campaign began way back in June of last year, built on a foundation of opening up state government to everyone — no matter our background, bank balance or zip code — and it’s been the guiding light of this journey,” she said in a statement.
Dempsey, also 39, who was raised by two public school teachers, has pitched himself as a candidate with a deep-rooted interest in public service. The Brookline Democrat served as a deputy transportation secretary under former Governor Deval Patrick.
Dempsey gained statewide attention as a leader of a campaign that ultimately helped sink Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Dempsey worked as a consultant and led the advocacy group Transportation for Massachusetts for four years. He stepped down in 2021 to run for auditor.
The race has been a contentious one, with Dempsey and DiZoglio having attacked the other’s record, campaign strategies, and endorsers on radio debates and in interviews. At a recent debate, DiZoglio accused Dempsey of supporting nondisclosure agreements as a Brookline Town Meeting member, while Dempsey, who has been endorsed by Bump, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, and the Massachusetts Democratic Party, slammed DiZoglio for her call to do a safety audit of the MBTA, which he described as “empty calories and a press release.”
DiZoglio, who has won support from many major unions including the Massachusetts Nurses Association and the National Association of Government Employees contrasted herself with Dempsey.
“We have the support of the workers, my opponent has the support of former management,” she said during the debate.
Amore, 55, is backed by Governor Charlie Baker — the only statewide candidate the governor, who is not running for re-election, has endorsed. Amore unsuccessfully ran for secretary of state in 2018.
In a statement late Tuesday, Amore said: “Over the next two months, I will make the case for why Massachusetts needs an independent watchdog of taxpayer dollars, not a political operative who on day one would be looking towards the next political office.”