For Jeff Bailey, 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 James Timilty (D-Walpole) for the senate seat, representing Attleboro, Foxborough, Mansfield, Medfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Sharon and Walpole.
He announced his intentions to run Thursday night at the Lafayette House 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 purposed Wynn Resort. "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 Grace Baptist Church School in Attleboro for 23 years and established the Grace Baptist Christian Baptist Christian Academy in 2001. He was also the principal of the school before becoming the superintendent.
Bailey also teaches an AP class in history and was something he called upon in his speech.
He talked about Virginia pastor Peter Muhlenberg, who left his church to join the forces of 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, " said Bailey. "He said you are a pastor and you aren't supposed to do these things. He respond to his brother, Frederick, and he said this: 'I may be a member of the clergy, but I also a member of society.'"
Bailey said he "may be not quite qualified to stand in his shadow, but he's proud to stand in his tradition."
His supporters feel Bailey's background makes him the best candidate to represent the district.
"No. 1, he's a man of integrity," said Attleboro supporter Tom Larkin. "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," said Bailey, "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 are 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 diversem 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.