Auditor Suzanne Bump, a Democrat who has spent more than 20 years working on Beacon Hill in various public roles, said Tuesday she would not seek a fourth term, creating a rare opening in one of the six statewide offices and becoming the first domino of the 2022 election cycle to fall.
Bump, who was also a state lawmaker and labor secretary under Gov. Deval Patrick, said she wanted to make way for "another leader who shares my commitment to making government work better and building the public trust to pursue this mission."
The role of the state auditor is not one that often gets a lot of attention, but Bump said she has improved the standards and operations of the office to make it a nationally recognized model.
"I am as dedicated to my office's mission of transparency and accountability as I was in 2011, and I am enormously proud of the continuing financial and human impact we make through our work in the Auditor's office. And yet, I will not seek re-election next year," Bump said in a statement.
There have been just two auditors since 1986, with the late Joseph DeNucci holding on to the post for 25 years before giving way to Bump in 2011. She is the first of the six constitutional office holders to announce their plans for 2022.
"I do not intend to be a candidate for higher office, but I do look forward to future opportunities to advocate for and to further efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in government," Bump said. "I am grateful to the voters of the Commonwealth for putting their faith in me and to my colleagues in government for their collaboration. This has been a thrill and an honor I never envisioned when I first walked into the State House as a legislative intern in 1978," she continued.
While the news of Bump's plans was still fresh, already speculation was building about who might run to replace her. Chris Dempsey, a well-know transportation advocate, called Bump a "remarkable and effective" public servant, hinting at his own ambition for the job, but giving Bump space on the day she announced her decision. In addition to leading Transportation for Massachusetts, Dempsey was a driving force behind the effort to oppose Boston's 2024 bid for the Olympics.
"In the coming days, I will have more to say about my own intentions for this critical elected position. Today, I join many others in expressing my sincere admiration and appreciation for Suzanne's years of service as a constitutional officer, Cabinet member and legislator," Dempsey said in a statement. "I wish her well in the next phase of her career and am grateful for our continued friendship."
Bump's decision to not seek reelection in 2022 was first reported Tuesday morning by Politico.