NORTH ANDOVER — Joseph Avellone III, said creating jobs, making health care more affordable, closing the achievement gap in K-12 education are among his priorities as he seeks the Democratic nomination for governor.
“This is not a time for politics as usual,” Avellone said during an interview with The Eagle-Tribune editorial board yesterday. “Coming through a difficult recession, we need new ideas.”
“I have the background and skill sets the next governor needs.”
Avellone, 65, describes himself as a fiscal moderate, which he says makes him the only Democrat running who can compete with Republican candidate Charlie Baker. Avellone is one of five Democrats vying for the seat including top runners State Treasurer Steven Grossman and Attorney General Martha Coakley. Also running are Don Berwick of Newton and former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem.
“My path to victory is to be the alternative politician,” he said.
He said he is running for governor because Massachusetts needs to create jobs in “Gateway” cities like Lawrence.
If elected, Avellone said he would create innovation or “incubator” centers in urban areas which would provide business start-up resources, office space, as well as payroll, marketing, capital, research, networking and other opportunities, he said.
A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he was a resident surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for five years and later a surgeon at Concord Hospital in New Hampshire.
After his career in surgery, Avellone served as Chief Operating Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts for seven years. At Blue Cross, Avellone headed HMO Blue; chief executive officer of biomedical company Veritas Medicine and senior vice president for Clinical Research at PAREXEL International.
This is not his first run for political office. Avellone was a selectman in Wellesley, for six years, serving as chairman one term.
Avellone was as a health-care adviser to the late Sen. Paul Tsongas’ 1992 presidential campaign and also worked on the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Gary Hart and Edward Kennedy.