ATTLEBORO - Paul Heroux had a feeling he was going to lose his race for state representative, so he was as surprised as anyone when he ended up with a resounding victory.
Heroux, a Democrat, carried all six wards in the city and collected 58 percent of the vote against incumbent state Rep. George Ross, R-Attleboro, in the race for the 2nd Bristol District seat.
"I didn't think I was going to win," the first-time candidate said.
There was speculation on election night that he benefited from the large get-out-the-vote efforts organized by U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and U.S. House candidate Joseph Kennedy III.
But, Heroux, 36, said he believes the deciding factor was the hard work he put in knocking on the doors of thousands of voters.
He said he regretted that the campaign took on a negative tone at the end, including complaints that Ross made a vulgar gesture at the audience during a debate, but he doubts that affected the vote.
"Fingergate and the other sideshows, I don't think that made much of a difference," he said.
Heroux said he has received calls of congratulations from House Speaker Robert DeLeo and several other representatives.
He said he is looking forward to attending orientation for new lawmakers and getting started when his term begins in January.
With a master's degree in criminology, Heroux said he hopes to be assigned to the Criminal Justice Committee, as well as transportation.
He said he also hopes to develop a good working relationship with city officials and other legislators.