Bristol County Sheriff Hodgson ‘Shocked’ By Loss to Heroux
In his first full interview since losing Tuesday's election to Democrat Paul Heroux, Bristol County Sheriff and Republican Tom Hodgson said he was "shocked" by the election results.
Hodgson said polling by the campaign "was telling me we were doing very strong." He said supporters have asked him, how did this happen?
"I can't answer that question," Hodgson said. "I don't know."
Heroux, who will step down as Mayor of Attleboro in January, defeated Hodgson by 1.2 percent, or just over 2,000 votes.
Hodgson attributed his loss, in part, to a coordinated effort by "left-wing" Democrats in and outside of Massachusetts, such as George Soros, who he said funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into his opponent's campaign.
Hodgson said his opponents unfairly painted him as "a racist and anti-Semitic," neither of which is true, he said.
"These left-wing groups have been after me for years," Hodgson said.
Hodgson counts outgoing Massachusetts Attorney General and now Governor-Elect Maura Healey and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas among his detractors, who he said are motivated by a political agenda that includes driving him from office.
Hodgson said the lopsided Massachusetts governor's race and disarray in the state's Republican Party didn't help him much, either.
Hodgson said Heroux has "very different views of police" than he does.
"And that concerns me," Hodgson said.
He said Heroux has accepted campaign funding and support from groups who advocate for the "defund the police" movement.
Before being elected mayor, Heroux worked as an administrator at a jail system in Philadelphia and the state prison system in Massachusetts. Heroux has no law enforcement experience, something that has Hodgson "very concerned," he said.
"I am very concerned about the safety of the employees," Hodgson said, stating that Heroux has "no training or experience" in such a "delicate environment" as a prison.
"His lack of experience is a real concern to me," Hodgson said.
Hodgson said "we have to accept the results of the election," though he adds that "it's hard to say one way or the other" that the election was fair, citing reports of broken voting machines in New Bedford.
"There were problems with voting all over the place," Hodgson said.
"I don't want to make excuses, but I'm puzzled" by the election's outcome, he said.
Hodgson said he hopes Heroux carries on the many community-based programs his administration has implemented over 25 years and that he reconsiders his pledge to withdraw the Bristol County Sheriff's Office from national efforts to fight drugs, illegal immigration, and terrorism.
As for his future plans, Hodgson said it's too soon after the election to make any decisions.
"It has only been a couple of days and there is a lot to think about. That will come in time," he said.
At some point, Hodgson said he might like to coach or return to teaching.
"Perhaps I'll write a book or even host a talk show," he said.
As for a future in politics?
"Never say never to anything," Hodgson said.
Listen to Sheriff Hodgson's interview with Barry Richard here: