Jeff Bailey says the theme of his campaign for state senator will be "jobs, jobs, jobs," but not ones in the casino industry.
Bailey, an Attleboro pastor, is running as a Republican against incumbent for the Senate seat. The district includes: Attleboro's ward 3, precinct B, ward 4, precincts A and B, ward 5, precincts A and B, ward 6, precincts A and B; Mansfield; Norton; Rehoboth; Seekonk; and Dover; Foxborough; Medfield; Sharon, precincts 1, 4 and 5; and Walpole.
Bailey announced his intentions to run Thursday night at the in Foxborough in front of a room full of supporters.
"I'm not in favor of casinos," said Bailey, sitting just a little over a mile away from the site of the proposed in Foxborough. "Even before the law was passed, I was against it. I'm against it on principle. It's not the kind of economic development we need."
Bailey has been the senior pastor at the in Attleboro for 23 years. He established the Grace Baptist Christian Baptist Christian Academy in 2001. He also has been the principal, and is the current superintendent.
Bailey also teaches an AP class in history, something he called upon in his speech.
He talked about a Virginia pastor, Peter Muhlenberg, who left his church to join the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
While he wasn't comparing his decision to run for the state Senate to Muhlenberg's to fight in battle, he said he is hearing the call of public service.
"Muhlenberg was criticized by his brother, who was also a pastor, " Bailey said.
"He said, 'You are a pastor and you aren't supposed to do these things.' He responded to his brother, Frederick, and he said this, 'I may be a member of the clergy, but I also a member of society.'
"I may be not quite qualified to stand in his shadow, but I'm proud to stand in his tradition."
Angela Davis of Foxborough, the Bristol/Norfolk Massachusetts Republican state committeewoman, said Bailey is the type of person who is "committed and obligated to do something to make a difference."
"This is an extraordinary opportunity to have a person who knows what it is to actually build a community, to build an organization," Davis said.
"(A person) who has dedicated himself to a purpose far greater than himself, which is called and referred to as servant leadership.
"People who dedicate themselves to servant leadership are people who have dedicated themselves to a purpose far greater than their own personal agenda."
His supporters feel Bailey's background makes him the best candidate to represent the district.
"Number 1, he's a man of integrity," Attleboro supporter Tom Larkin said.
"He is not in this for self-promotion. He is in it to do the right thing."
While he is proud of his 23 years in the clergy, Bailey doesn't want it to be a campaign issue.
"I'm not going to make it an issue," Bailey said, "and I hope my opponent doesn't."
Bailey said it is time to change things on Beacon Hill.
"Every time you turn around, someone is being indicted," he said.
"The last three speakers of the House were convicted felons, and we have more indictments coming. The probation scandal is out there. Our state government has been run by a party that believes its patronage is something that needs to be treasured. I say it's time to end that patronage and to end the ruling of the professional political class."
Bailey said he has been out in the district learning the issues, which are diverse because of the breakdown of the communities, ranging from a city like Attleboro to the wealthy community of Medfield.
"We have to provide more funding on the state level to give the communities the resources they need," he said.