SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux declared victory early Wednesday over longtime Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, ousting the Republican incumbent after 25 years in the job.
Heroux, a Democrat, told 12 News he hadn’t received a concession call yet as of 2 a.m. from Hodgson, a Republican. But he said he was confident based on the numbers, and cited news reports saying Hodgson had acknowledged defeat.
“We basically just outworked him,” Heroux said. “People were ready for change. It was time.”
Hodgson was first appointed in 1997 by then-Gov. William Weld and has served as sheriff ever since. He campaigned on his tough approach to prisoners and defended his record in a 12 News debate, but also faced criticism for his job performance as well as his alliance with former President Donald Trump.
Heroux was the first challenger to run against Hodgson in 12 years. He campaigned on making changes to how the county jails are run, particularly to deal with suicides and recidivism, pointing to his previous experience in other corrections systems.
Outside money poured into the race, with progressive groups backing Heroux and a super PAC associated with Gov. Charlie Baker supporting Hodgson.
Heroux will serve a six-year term. He said there will be a special election in Attleboro over the coming months to choose a new mayor.