Dems Rally SouthCoast Volunteers in Final Campaign Push
In the final weekend before Massachusetts will send a slate of new candidates to statewide and local office, Democratic hopefuls made canvass kickoff stops in New Bedford and Fall River to motivate their volunteers to help elect Democrats up and down the ballot on Nov. 8.
Attleboro Mayor and Democratic nominee for Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux, who is locked in an increasingly contentious election to unseat longtime Republican Sheriff Tom Hodgson, addressed a large crowd of enthusiastic volunteers.
Joining Heroux were two Democrats higher up on the 2022 ballot: former Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell, the nominee for attorney general; and Methuen Senator Diana DiZoglio, the nominee for state auditor.
"I want to run a much more modern jail system," Heroux said. "A jail system that's really going to help people get back on their feet. A jail system that gives out hope rather than hate. A jail system that is all about restoring dignity, not giving people despair. Because that's what we have going on right now at the Bristol County Sheriff's Office."
DiZoglio, who served alongside Heroux as state representatives on Beacon Hill, offered high praise for her former colleague, saying he was a "fiercely independent" rep for his constituents.
Campbell spoke of the effort to elect Heroux as the next Bristol County sheriff with a sense of urgency.
"Paul, thank you for taking this on," Campbell said. "I feel like I want to talk more about your race than the AG race."
She added: "We can have safety, but we can also have accountability and transparency and in our prisons in our houses of correction, in our public safety agencies. The current sheriff doesn't know that and he uses all types of rhetoric to divide us."
Campbell and DiZoglio also each spoke of the personal hardships that they have overcome to position themselves on a trajectory to two of the most powerful officeholders in the Commonwealth and both stressed the importance of the office they seek.
DiZoglio explained that as the chief accountability officer in the Commonwealth, the state auditor can pierce through the opacity of state government and better ensure that the residents' tax dollars are being responsibly spent.
"Massachusetts continues to be ranked by almost every single good government group as the least transparent and least accessible state government in the entire nation," DiZoglio said. "That lack of transparency does not serve working families like ours who want nothing more than to be able to have a seat at the table where the decisions are being made."
Campbell told the crowd that the broad purview of the Attorney General's Office can be used to combat the most pressing issues facing most residents of the Commonwealth, including the soaring price of housing and other basic necessities, the mental health care crisis, and the increasingly destructive impacts of climate change.
"I carry my candidacy with significant humility because I know how important that office is, given what we are talking about locally and nationally," Campbell said.
Also in attendance were Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan, former Fall River Mayor Ed Lambert and former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard.
On Sunday, Salem Mayor and Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll stopped by Buttonwood Park in New Bedford alongside Heroux, State Rep. Tony Cabral, former Mayor John Bullard, and New Bedford City Councillor Shane Burgo for another canvass kickoff as they addressed an equally large and excited crowd.
Driscoll made a similar stop at Buttonwood in mid-October.
Attorney General and gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey also recently made a stop in Taunton to campaign for down-ballot Democrats.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.