Auditor candidates both claiming to be outsiders

The two Democratic candidates for state auditor are both claiming to be the outsider in the race and insisting they have the edge heading toward the September primary.

Chris Dempsey, a first-time candidate, previously headed the organization Transportation for Massachusetts and helped lead the opposition to hosting the 2024 Olympics in Boston. He bases his positive assessment of the auditor’s race on the success he had at the state Democratic Party’s convention, where he edged Sen. Diana DiZoglio of Methuen by a margin of 53-47 to win the party endorsement and drew support from key areas across the state. 

Suzanne Bump, who has served as state auditor since 2011, endorsed Dempsey and appeared with him on stage at the state convention. 

Kate Foster, Dempsey’s campaign manager, pointed out that he won a majority of the delegates in the Berkshires and the three western-most Senate districts. He also won both Senate districts representing Worcester, the district representing Fall River, every Senate district in MetroWest, and all six Senate districts representing Boston.

“Our second-best-performing Senate district in the entire state was the Second Suffolk (currently represented by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, who is mounting a campaign for governor), one of the few majority-minority Senate districts in the Commonwealth,” Foster said. “It’s never easy to win the convention as an outsider, but Chris’s track record of public leadership is resonating with the grassroots base of the party and with voters who will show up in September.” 

Doug Rubin, a political consultanty working as an advisor to the DiZoglio campaign, said the senator has the edge because she has more campaign cash than Dempsey ($554,771 to $357,482 as of May 31) and the support of more than a dozen labor unions. 

Her fundraising advantage isn’t as big as it appears, however. Dempsey as a first-time candidate started from zero, while DiZoglio could tap $168,926 she had built up in her Senate account. Removing that headstart, DiZoglio has raised only about $30,000 more than Dempsey through the end of May.

“It’s not surprising that Chris Dempsey, who is supported by many political insiders, won the convention,” Rubin said in a statement. “What was surprising is that Diana DiZoglio, who has taken on the insiders repeatedly in support of victims of harassment and working families, got 47 percent of the vote against the insider’s candidate. Diana was humbled by the outpouring of support she received at the convention, given her repeated calls for more transparency and accountability from Beacon Hill insiders.”

Rubin also scoffs at the Dempsey camp’s “silly” portrayal of the convention results. “Any campaign or candidate that thinks results from the Democratic convention are representative of primary elections in Massachusetts is either delusional or not paying attention to history. Plenty of recent candidates have won the convention and lost the primary,” he said

BRUCE MOHL

 

FROM COMMONWEALTH

Hospital logjam: Massachusetts hospitals say they are caring for more than 1,000 patients who are ready to be discharged to a nursing home, rehab facility, or home health care but can’t find an opening. The result is a bottleneck in which patients are stuck in a more intensive and more expensive care facility than they need, while hospitals cannot free up beds for patients who need acute care. Read more.

Safety issues at the T: Despite the recent Green Line collision and derailment, MBTA officials say fewer trains are going off the tracks. The officials also say a Federal Transit Administration safety team is  calling for fixes in four areas even before a final report on safety problems at the T is completed. Read more

Liquor license question good to go: The Supreme Judicial Court holds unanimously that Attorney General Maura Healey correctly ruled that a ballot question dealing with liquor licenses should qualify for the ballot because all of its elements are interrelated. Read more

OPINION

Getting off gas: Brita Lundberg of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility and Carlos Camargo Jr. of Mass General ask why we accept asthma with our natural gas. Read more.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

 

BEACON HILL

House Speaker Ron Mariano says the House plans to take up a mental health bill Thursday, but details are not yet available. (MassLive)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS  

Mayor Michelle Wu rejected a $10 million cut in the Boston Police Department overtime budget made by the City Council, calling it “false reduction” that would “create unpredictability elsewhere.” (Boston Globe

Jim Ayers resigns as head of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation after only six months on the job. (Telegram & Gazette)

A resolution filed by Boston City Council Tania Fernandes Anderson would call on the city of Boston to acknowledge and apologize for its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. (WBUR)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Massachusetts will distribute 2 million free COVID tests to municipalities. (Associated Press)

Advocates think the tide may be turning in their effort to have the state approve “safe injection sites” where drug users can inject drugs with help nearby in the case of an overdose. (Boston Globe

More than 150 people, including local politicians, rally to keep the North Shore Birth Center in Beverly open. (Gloucester Daily Times)

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

Witnesses told the congressional committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol that then-President Trump waved off advisers and family members urging him not to declare victory on election night in 2020 as votes were still being counted and instead listened to a “definitely intoxicated” Rudy Giuliani, who told him the election was being stolen. (New York Times

ELECTIONS

Gov. Charlie Baker, GOP gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, and state Republican Party chief Jim Lyons are on the same page when it comes to opposing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. Diehl and Lyons are pushing a ballot question effort to overturn a new law passed over the governor’s veto. (GBH)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

The annual state sales tax holiday is set for August 13-14. (State House News Service)

Package store owners push back, with some success, against a proposal to ban the sale of nip liquor bottles in Pittsfield to reduce litter. (Berkshire Eagle)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

A delegation of Belgian businesses visits New Bedford to learn about the offshore wind industry. (Standard-Times)

MEDIA

The Boston Globe is preparing to launch Boston Local, a morning newsletter. (Media Nation)