The people of Attleboro should thank Timothy Barone, John Davis, Cathleen DeSimone and Jay DiLisio.

When Paul Heroux announced he would resign as mayor after being elected Bristol County sheriff, four quality candidates jumped into the race.

Barone has brought an outsider’s viewpoint and a dignified intelligence to the campaign, while Davis has displayed the same energy and passion for his community as he did during his years on the Attleboro City Council.

But we believe the decision on who should be Attleboro’s next mayor comes down to DeSimone and DiLisio.

DiLisio, the former city council president who stepped in as acting mayor following Heroux’s resignation, has shown that he is more than capable of running the municipal government. He knows how the city operates from his years on the council and has administrative experience as a former assistant registrar with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Topping his list of priorities are the basics of municipal government: providing strong public safety and quality water, fixing city roads and maintaining the community spirit — Blue Pride — that has grown stronger since the new opening of the new Attleboro High School. We have little doubt a DiLisio administration will balance the budget and provide the government services taxpayers expect and deserve.

But we believe DeSimone can deliver more.

The two-term city councilor sees the challenges Attleboro faces as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. She wants the city’s students to get back to pre-pandemic education levels, and she seeks to lessen the economic impact caused by the shutdown that followed.

She has made diversity and inclusion a major part of her platform. While DiLisio also supports more diversity in city government, his view is more narrowly defined.

An illuminating point on this was driven home in the recent mayoral debate sponsored by The Sun Chronicle.

When the candidates were asked about plans for diversification, DiLisio framed his along racial lines. DeSimone, on the other hand, thought bigger, believing inclusion also involves, gender, economic class and education levels.

We believe that’s a more complete view of the issue.

We salute both candidates for seeking more affordable housing and businesses in the city. We worry, though, that DiLisio’s campaign contributors include some local developers seeking to build in Attleboro.

We also favor DeSimone on one of the few policy differences they have faced this campaign: narrowing the tax-rate gap between homes and businesses.

DiLisio is urging a more rapid reduction in the difference between the rates, saying businesses suffered greatly during the pandemic lockdown.

DeSimone, however, points out that many homeowners also took a financial hit from COVID-19 and that any reduction in the business rate will mean families will pay more.

Again, all four candidates should be thanked for not just running but for maintaining the civil discourse that has marked this campaign. Attleboro has had strong leadership for more than three decades, and we are confident that will continue with the next administration.

We are also confident that the person who will best maintain that tradition is Cathleen DeSimone, and we urge you to support her on Election Day.