“I’m not a typical politician,” said Avellone, 65, a Democrat whose only previous elective office was selectman in his hometown of Wellesley. “I’m a person who’s gotten results in the private sector.”
After beginning his professional career as a surgeon, Avellone moved into health care administration, including three years as chief operating officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. He’s currently a senior executive at Parexel International Corp., a Waltham-based biopharmaceutical research firm with nearly 15,000 employees in 50 countries.
His experience, he said in an interview, will prepare him to tackle what he calls the two biggest challenges facing state government: creating new jobs and controlling health care costs.
A recent Suffolk University/Boston Herald telephone poll of 600 Massachusetts voters found nearly three in four had never heard of Avellone, among five Democrats vying to succeed Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick "
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