BOSTON (SHNS) – Saying the state auditor “must stand up to special interests to protect the public interest,” public transportation advocate Chris Dempsey, who helped lead the grassroots movement to prevent the Olympics from coming to Boston in 2024, has made it official: he’s running for state auditor in 2022.

The Brookline Democrat joins Sen. Diana DiZoglio of Methuen, also a Democrat, in the race to succeed Suzanne Bump, who is not seeking reelection. In fighting against a Boston Olympics bid, and as director of Transportation for Massachusetts, Dempsey has clashed with elected officials on public policy matters, and he’s using that willingness to engage as part of his sales pitch during his new statewide campaign.

By prevailing in the effort to stop a potential Boston Olympics, Dempsey says opponents of that idea saved state taxpayers billions of dollars. “As the Co-Founder of No Boston Olympics, I challenged some of the most powerful people in the Commonwealth and saved taxpayers from billions in Olympic cost overruns,” Dempsey said in a statement. “As Assistant Secretary of Transportation, I helped build a nationally-recognized program to ensure commuters across Massachusetts have access to public-transit data and road-condition data in real-time. And as Director of Transportation for Massachusetts, I brought together community, environmental, and business organizations to speak with a united voice on the need for improved transportation.”

After working at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation during Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, Dempsey earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 2012 and then worked as a consultant at Bain & Company after graduation. Following his No Boston Olympics effort, Dempsey worked as vice president at Masabi, a transportation startup that provides mobile ticketing technologies for major transit systems. Dempsey was raised in Brookline, and graduated from Brookline High School, then Pomona College in 2005. He chairs the Brookline Transportation Board.