Dempsey to Resign From Legislature in September; Jockeying Begins

Haverhill Rep. Brian S. Dempsey during a topping off ceremony at Harbor Place, of  his signature achievements in the legislature. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Rep. Brian S. Dempsey plans to retire from the Massachusetts legislature in September as he takes a top position at a well-known Boston lobbying firm.

Dempsey will become senior vice president and chief operating officer at ML Strategies, a wholly-owned consulting subsidiary of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. His surprise announcement came late this morning in a statement.

“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,” said Dempsey. “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’s announcement likely kicks off some political jockeying locally. It was not immediately clear whether a special election must take place, according to the Haverhill City Clerk’s office. Officials will be seeking guidance from Secretary of State William F. Galvin.

Dempsey was first elected to represent the city of Haverhill at the State House in 1991. As chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Dempsey has been credited with bringing tens of millions of dollars to Haverhill in state aid ranging from annual payments on the former Hale Hospital debt and MassWorks grants to help create Harbor Place and revitalize downtown Haverhill.

During his time in the legislature, he has also served as House chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service, chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and chairman of the Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. Prior to his time in the State Legislature, Dempsey served the City of Haverhill as a city councilor from 1988 to 1991, with stints as council vice president in 1989 and president in 1990.