ATTLEBORO — Political newcomer Paul Heroux rolled to an easy win over Stephen Kane in the Democratic primary for state representative, and will take on incumbent Republican George Ross in the Nov. 6 election.
Heroux, who seemed to focus most of his primary campaign on Ross, rather than Kane, walloped Kane by more than 800 votes in an unusual Thursday election that produced a minuscule turnout of 10 percent in Attleboro.
Heroux got 78 percent of the 1,428 votes cast in the contest, beating Kane 1,118 votes to 310.
Heroux and Ross will vie for the chance to represent the Second Bristol District, which includes all city precincts except 3B.
State Rep. Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, is unopposed and will continue to represent 3B.
Kane, 57, did not return a message left on his cellphone seeking comment.
The 35-year-old Heroux said his win was due to bringing his message to people in person.
“I knocked on thousands of doors,” he said. “I made a personal appeal to people, not a canned speech. That doesn’t work.”
Still, Heroux said he didn’t expect the landslide he got, noting that Kane made numerous phone calls and has a large following of family and friends — but it was gratifying.
“I’m very pleased,” he said.
More door knocking is likely on the horizon over the next two months as Heroux takes aim at Ross, 62, who’s finishing up his first term in the Legislature.
And Heroux’s hoping Ross, who he said has “not delivered to the degree people expect,” will agree to four debates over the next eight weeks— a general debate, one on crime policy, one on economic policy and one on values.
In recent weeks, he blasted Ross for a vote against disaster relief money and questioned his work ethic when there was confusion over whether his bill to ban a dangerous drug known as bath salts had passed in a flurry of legislative activity at the end of the session this summer.
Heroux said he intends to show voters what he has to offer, which includes a variety of work experiences in the private and public sectors, as well as an array of advanced academic degrees from prestigious universities like Harvard and the London School of Economics.
Meanwhile, Ross scoffed at the assertion he hasn’t produced for the city.
“I haven’t been sitting on my hands, I’ve been working hard,” he said.
“I delivered $348,000 in (state surplus) money last year. Local aid to Attleboro has gone up 12 percent, and I got important legislation banning bath salts passed,” he said.
Ross said his decades of experience in government will trump Heroux, who has never served in elective office.
“This election is about who has the most to offer to Attleboro, and after seven terms on the City Council and one in the Legislature I think I know what’s going on,” he said.
Ross rejected the idea of four debates.
“I think one is sufficient,” he said.
GEORGE W. RHODES can be reached at 508-236-0432 or at email@example.com.