In a blockbuster announcement sure to send shockwaves through Beacon Hill, House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey is resigning from the Legislature to take a job at lobbying firm ML Strategies.
Dempsey, a Haverhill Democrat who wields great power in the House as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, has served on Beacon Hill since 1991. He is the primary author of the last six House budgets, including the state's first spending plan greater than $40 billion. Many have considered him as a possible successor to the long-serving House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
At ML Strategies, Dempsey will serve as senior vice president and chief operating officer, beginning in September, his office said.
"It has been an incredible honor to serve the people of Haverhill in an elected capacity since 1988. I am proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together. I would like to thank all of my supporters, friends and family for their encouragement and help through the years," Dempsey said in a statement. "While I am moving on to a new chapter in my life, Haverhill will always be my home, and we will continue to keep the city moving in the right direction."
Dempsey and his wife Julie have three children, Ryan, Tyler and Brittany. He is a 1984 graduate of Haverhill High School and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
ML Strategies already employs a stable of former public officials, including former Gov. William Weld, former Sen. Steven Baddour, and former Massport CEO Stephen Tocco, who is chairman and CEO of ML Strategies.
"We are excited to welcome Brian to ML Strategies. Brian is a dynamic leader and someone with a track record for success. He is well-respected not only by his colleagues in the House and Senate, but also leaders throughout all levels of government and the business community," said Stephen P. Tocco, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of ML Strategies. "We are confident that Brian will bring great depth and a unique perspective to our clients and to our team in his COO leadership role."
Rep. Stephen Kulik of Worthington is the vice-chair of House Ways and Means.