METHUEN — The race for state auditor continues to evolve, as Sen. Diana DiZoglio may face a serious challenge from a Senate veteran, while another candidate announced she was leaving the campaign altogether.
Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff of Gloucester, who recently announced her campaign for auditor, said in a statement Friday that “due to a family health situation, I cannot justify the time commitment of a statewide run for office at this time and will be withdrawing from the race. Family always comes first for the Duffs.”
Meanwhile, State House News Service reported this past week that Taunton Sen. Marc Pacheco, 68, the longest-tenured sitting member of the Senate, is mulling a run for the auditor’s office.
DiZoglio, a 38-year-old Methuen Democrat, is in her second term on the Senate representing the 1st Essex District. She said in a text message that “my heart goes out to Councilor Duff and her family. I encourage those who know her to reach out and let her know that we’re here for her.”
In a press release, Duff thanked “everyone who so quickly reached out to voice their support for our run for Auditor. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and absolutely humbled by how many of you sought the same vision for the Commonwealth as myself.”
She also praised the current list of candidates while complimenting the current auditor, Suzanne Bump.
“It is already shaping up to be a talented field and the Democratic party is lucky to have so many thoughtful contenders,” Duff said. “Auditor Bump is leaving a tremendous legacy behind and it is so vital to build on the great work she has done to ensure taxpayer money is protected and that our agencies are adopting best practices and functioning at their highest capacity.”
Duff said she would remain in her seat on the Governor’s Council, whose primary role is to approve the governor’s judicial appointments.
“I look forward to continuing the important work at the Governor’s Council for the years to come,” she said.
Pacheco has not made a final decision on whether to join the field of auditor candidates in 2022 and appears to be gauging support. But his movement behind the scenes indicates he is considering a bid for statewide office after more than three decades in the Legislature.
Pacheco’s office declined to comment when asked about his interest in the auditor’s position.
Regarding Pacheco potentially entering the race, DiZoglio said that not only is the Taunton Democrat a colleague, “but he is also a dear friend that I have profound respect for. His consideration of a run is certainly warranted and whatever his decision, I look forward to continuing to fight for transparency and accountability in our government alongside him.”
The only other candidate currently in the race is Chris Dempsey, a lobbyist for the transportation industry.
Material from the State House News Service was used in this story.