Statehouse dome

The Massachusetts Statehouse. (AP file photo)

ATTLEBORO -- A retired Attleboro High School math teacher is considering running in a special election for state representative.

Jim Hawkins, a Democrat, said his background in education and small business could be an asset if he represented Attleboro on Beacon Hill.

"I think I can do some good there," he said, pointing to issues such as state aid to schools.

Hawkins said prior to becoming a teacher he owned and operated a gas station, so he knows about small businesses, too.

He said he also taught business management at Roger Williams University.

A Locust Street resident, Hawkins said he is carefully considering a run and hopes to make a decision soon.

The special election will be needed when Rep. Paul Heroux resigns his House seat and is sworn in as mayor.

City Councilor Julie Hall, a Republican, has already said she is running for Heroux's seat.

She said she will have a formal announcement next month.

Local activists have been trying to recruit other candidates, including a Republican primary challenger for Hall.

Jeff Bailey, a Republican who has run for state representative before, said he is considering another try, but has to consult with his family, his school and church.

Bailey is a Baptist pastor who runs the Grace Baptist School on Oak Hill Avenue.

A decision would not be made until after the holidays, he said.

Although he is a Republican, Bailey has been asked by Heroux, a Democrat, to say a prayer at the city inaugural ceremonies.

Heroux said he is trying to make the event as inclusive as possible to unite the city.

Another Republican possibility for state representative is Jacob Ventura, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in October.

He said he is concentrating on his law practice now, but would not close any doors to running for office.

He said he would not make a decision until after the New Year.

One definite no is Seth Bai, who ran unsuccessfully for city council earlier this month.

He said he has been asked by three people to run, but he said he is happy with his full-time job as a veterans agent in Newton.

Hawkins, 68, who competes in triathlons in his spare time, retired from Attleboro High School three years ago after working for 13 years at the school.

"Teaching is the proudest thing I've ever done," he said.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or jhand@thesunchronicle.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitics.

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