ATTLEBORO — State Rep. Paul Heroux cruised to a second term, crushing Republican challenger Bert Buckley with 61 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s state election.
Buckley, an ambulance company official and former businessman, tallied 38.7 percent of the ballots.
The vote totals were 6,603 votes for Heroux to Buckley’s 4,197.
Heroux, who prides himself on constituent service, transparency and efforts to analyze state programs to ensure they work and are cost effective, said old fashioned hard work led to his win.
“We had a very well run campaign,” he said standing outside Patterson Creations on Union Street, where supporters continued to party almost two hours after the votes came in.
Heroux said he spent hours and hours knocking on doors — at least 10,000 doors, he estimated — while his sister Lauren Heroux-Camirand organized 70 volunteers in getting out the word and getting out the vote.
He also credited his job performance for the victory.
Heroux, 38, said constituents have noticed his commitment to their needs and his efforts on their behalf.
“I’ve had a successful two years doing the job,” he said.
Buckley, 45, and his supporters called it an early night at Scorpio’s Italian Eatery on Park Street, where they had been hoping to celebrate a big win.
He had the support of the city’s Republican establishment, including Mayor Kevin Dumas and the city’s other state representative, Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Both Dumas and Poirier were at Scorpio’s, along with city councilors Brian Kirby, Walter Thibodeau and others.
Buckley did not return calls to his three phone numbers seeking comment.
He ran pledging to help small business and to find ways to cut taxes, especially the sales tax, while pushing to increase funding for schools.
That coupling was a seeming contradiction that he had trouble explaining during interviews and debates.
But, Heroux credited Buckley with running a positive campaign.
“I thank Bert for running a clean campaign and not going negative,” he said. “He was a class act and an asset for the city.”
Heroux said he feels “relief” with the win, and will now focus on continuing the work he started in his first term.
“I’m going to keep focusing on constituent services and keep fighting to measure government services,” he said. “I’m going to see what I can do for education, especially homeless transportation, because I know that’s a sore spot with the city council and the school committee.”
Heroux’s home ward, Ward 2, came out in greater numbers than the citywide turnout of 46.7 percent.
In Precinct 2A, 65.5 percent of the voters showed up. In Precinct 2B, 47.4 percent of the voters turned out.
Buckley’s home Precinct 3A pulled fewer than the citywide percentage, at 45.6 percent.
Precinct 3B is represented by Poirier.
GEORGE W. RHODES can be reached at 508-236-0432, at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SCAttleboro.