ATTLEBORO — Another challenger for Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has thrown his hat in the ring, as Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux announced today he will be making a bid for the sheriff's seat in this year's election.

Heroux, a former state representative, joins another challenger — Fall River attorney and former county prosecutor Nicholas Bernier — in the race.

After working in prison and jail administration, Heroux became known for his prison reform advocacy, calling for the state to evaluate correctional programs' effectiveness at reducing recidivism.

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As a state rep, he co-sponsored a bill that would have punished police officers for swearing or using slurs while dealing with the public.

Heroux had announced this would be his last term as Attleboro's mayor during his successful bid for re-election in November.

Hodgson has held the Bristol County Sheriff's seat since 1997, and most recently ran unopposed in 2016.

He recently came under fire from the state Attorney General's Office, which found that he had violated the civil rights of federal immigration detainees during a May 2020 altercation in which three were hospitalized.

The facility's contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was terminated following the report.

A vocal Republican, Hodgson was appointed honorary chair of Donald Trump's re-election campaign in Massachusetts.

His other challenger, Bernier, made headlines as a primary witness in former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia's corruption trial.

Heroux holds three master's degrees, including one in criminology from UPenn, and made headlines in 2018 when he took his terminally ill dog on a cross-country road trip.

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