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Meet Doug


I’m running to be your State Representative - for the people of the 8th Essex District in Marblehead, Swampscott and Lynn. I want to put my experience to work, to contribute to this place I love, and to help us do much better – on economic opportunity & fairness, climate change, affordable healthcare, and transparency in the Massachusetts statehouse.

I grew up in a working-class, union household (Dad worked for GM) outside of Buffalo, NY.  I held jobs from the age of 12 and put myself through college at BU. While there, I founded the BU Food Project, which distributes excess food from college and university dining halls to Homeless Shelters. And I’m proud to say that the program is still running - 35 years later!

My family and I live in beautiful Swampscott. Ingrid, my wife, is an architecture professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology, and is a Swampscott Historic District Commissioner. My daughter, Maya, is 18 and making big plans for the future. I enjoy running the beaches from Marblehead to Lynn with my dog, Roux, and biking the Neck.


“Don’t tell me what you’re going to do. Tell me what you’ve done.”
- Bobby Kennedy

I am running for the state legislature – representing Marblehead, Swampscott and Lynn, to bring a spirit of innovation to our state government. 

  • Early career focused on homelessness and affordable housing

  • Interned on Clinton Health Reform Task Force in Washington, DC

  • Studied public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government

  • Chief Financial Officer for the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program (managed an $8 billion budget, worked closely with the legislature, decreased costs and expanded coverage, saved hundreds of millions of dollars through the innovations and budget management)

  • Helped lead Cambridge Health Alliance and Neighborhood Health Plan to innovate delivery of care through Medicaid and Medicare, resulting in higher quality services at a lower cost

  • ​Founded and became CEO of successful healthcare company, Perfect Health, which provides primary care to frail seniors at home in six states

Like my efforts in healthcare, we must be creative in tackling the problems that continue to challenge us: economic opportunity and fairness, climate change, healthcare (including a woman’s right to choose), housing, transportation, education, racial equity and government transparency. As your state representative, these are issues that will motivate me, and I look forward to putting my experience to work for the 8th Essex district.


Hear more from Doug at the League of Women Voters 2022 Candidate Forum


Campaign Issues

Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity and Fairness

Massachusetts is a great place to live but because of the high cost of living, it is out of reach for many people. There are several factors that are creating a growing opportunity gap and we must do better to address these issues:

  • Housing—we are experiencing an unprecedented housing crunch in Massachusetts.  The scarcity of housing has led to spiraling housing costs at every level.  

  • Transportation— Our transportation systems are outdated, unreliable, and inefficient.  We must do better to ensure that public transportation is a reliable option for people to get to work, to get to school, or to travel intra-city while advancing our climate change goals.  

  • Education—We take great pride in our education system in Massachusetts, but too many students are being left behind.  We must ensure that students are getting the highest quality of education, regardless of zip code, and that students are prepared for what comes next, whether that is a four-year college, two year, or entering the workforce. 

  • I believe that passage of the Fair Share amendment will go a long way to addressing the inequities in transportation and education.

  • Racial equity—There are too many barriers to progress that remain in place due to structural and institutional racism.  We must do our part in the legislature to identify these remaining barriers—especially in our judicial and educational systems—and take the appropriate steps to tear them down.

Climate Change

Climate Change is the most pressing issue of our time, especially here on the North Shore where the climate is changing more quickly than elsewhere. We must respond with more urgency and boldness. Massachusetts has implemented a climate action plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 50% reduction by 2030.

  • These goals are within reach, but it is going to take serious private sector innovation and government support.

  • We must supplement this plan with detailed legislation to decarbonize our electrical grid, transportation systems, food systems, and industrial production. We must also seriously pursue a policy of carbon sequestration.

  • I will propose major reforms to address these challenges.

Affordable Healthcare

Massachusetts was a leader in ensuring health insurance coverage to almost all its citizens.  I played a major role in the successful implementation of Massachusetts health insurance reform from 2007 to 2009 as Chief Financial Officer of MassHealth. 

  • But Massachusetts is not a leader when it comes to affordable health coverage - 46% of residents are unable to get the healthcare they need due to cost barriers.  Demand for improved primary care and mental healthcare are becoming more apparent to all.  

  • Many innovative reforms have been implemented through Obamacare.  I helped lead several organizations to reduce cost and improve healthcare quality, especially for Massachusetts citizens with complex healthcare needs.  

  • Overall, however, Massachusetts is falling behind the rest of the country.  Other states are proposing innovative programs to address access to primary care and mental healthcare and control costs.

  • In the state legislature I will propose major reforms to address these challenges.

My plan in a post-Roe America

​In 2020, Massachusetts passed the ROE Act which codified abortion rights across our Commonwealth. This was critical to protect abortion access to safe, legal healthcare that prevents people from resorting to dangerous options. In the wake of the Roe ruling, the Massachusetts State House and Senate have voted to provide further protections for reproductive rights, to expand reproductive freedoms, and re-affirmed these rights as, “legally-protected health care activity.” I agree with this approach wholeheartedly. And I have plan for what we do next. Read my full post-Roe plan here.

Government Transparency

Government Transparency - Read my 'No Lobbyist Pledge' here

The people of Massachusetts deserve an open and transparent government.  Sunshine is the strongest disinfectant.  This is why the antiquated regulations that allow the executive and legislative branch to shield their activities from the public must be reversed.  The legislature does not currently have an open meeting law.  We need to implement reforms in the legislature to democratize the legislative process, so citizen voices more strongly drive the agenda – and legislators actions cannot be shielded from constituents.

I am not taking lobbyist money. I want to represent the people of this district, not the special interests!


Get Involved

Morning Newspaper

Press and Endorsements

Swampscott Democrat Launches State Representative Bid

The former health care financial officer is vying for the 8th Essex seat vacated when Lori Ehrlich became the FEMA Region 1 Administrator.

Swampscott's Doug Thompson makes four in 8th Essex District race

Former Chief Financial Officer, MassHealth, and health care innovator said he'll bring a skillset as policy expert, health care leader, and entrepreneur to the legislature

Swampscott’s Naomi Dreeben to head Doug Thompson’s state rep campaign

Wine & cheese fundraiser on tap for May

Thompson States His Case for Open State Rep Seat

Doug Thompson of Swampscott is running for state Representative for the 8th District of Essex, covering Lynn, Marblehead, and Swampscott.

National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter PACE Endorses Doug Thompson for 8th Essex House of Representatives

“We are confident that Doug Thompson will bring his policy expertise and experience to the State House, making him an effective and equity-minded leader for all people in the 8th Essex district,” said Alison Freeman, NASW-MA PACE Chair.

Doug Thompson Unveils Health Care, Climate Plans

Doug Thompson, a former health care executive and one of six candidates running for 8th Essex District representative, formally unveiled his health care and climate policy plans this week. 

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50 Eighth District Women Endorse Doug Thompson

Doug Thompson, a former health care executive and one of six running for state representative in the 8th Essex District, received the endorsement of 50 female leaders in the district

72 Eighth District Seniors Endorse Doug Thompson

Doug is the only candidate with two decades of healthcare experience and the skills needed to make healthcare accessible across our Commonwealth.



More events are in the works!

Please reach out to Naomi at to host a meet and greet.