Jacob Ventura

ATTLEBORO -- After a tough primary fight, state Senate candidate Jacob Ventura is working to bring his Republican Party together for an Oct. 17 showdown with Democrat Paul Feeney and independent Joe Shortsleeve.

Ventura has been holding a series of meetings with GOP leaders, including those who did not back him in the primary, to get their support and unify the party.

He was in downtown Attleboro Friday talking to state Rep. Shaunna O'Connell, R-Taunton, about issues impacting Gateway Cities.

She said it is a good sign that he is asking a representative from a similar city about issues Attleboro may face.

Ventura also recently received the endorsement of state Rep. Betty Poirier, R-North Attleboro, who supported his opponent, Michael Berry, in the primary.

Berry has also offered his support while Ventura said Gov. Charlie Baker will be officially endorsing him on Oct. 7.

On the Democratic side, Feeney had a much less divisive primary and his opponent, Ted Philips, enthusiastically endorsed him, and then U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Brookline, came out in favor of Feeney.

More recently, he has gotten endorsements from the Rehoboth Democratic Town Committee and the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

Shortsleeve has said that, as a 30-year veteran of Boston television news, he already has name recognition so does not need the endorsement of politicians.

The special election in the Bristol and Norfolk District has been called to replace former Sen. James Timilty, who resigned.

The district includes half of Attleboro, part of Sharon and all of Seekonk, Rehoboth, Norton, Mansfield, Foxboro, Walpole and Medfield.

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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