Two Eye Frank Cook's Ward 3 Council Seat
Due to health issues, the seven-term councilor says he has not been able to focus on whether he would run for re-election.
If City Council President Frank Cook decides to run for an eighth term as the Ward 3 representative, he will have at least two competitors. Former Councilor John Davis and Planning Board member Ben Dowling say they will run for the Ward 3 seat this fall. Frank says health issues have prevented him from focusing on determining whether he would seek re-election.
Dowling, who has served on the planning board since 2009, pulled nomination papers Tuesday. His father Tom challenged Cook in the 2011 election, and lost by a 62-38 margin.
"I just think it's time for a fresh perspective on the council for Ward 3," Dowling said. "I'd like to be more actively involved in government. I think you can be more active by being on the council than you can on the planning board."
Davis, who pulled papers last month, served as the Ward 5 councilor for four terms before giving up his seat to run for mayor in 2007. Mayor Kevin Dumas defeated him in that election by a large margin.
"I have a long history of being involved in community activities and public service," Davis said. "I enjoyed my eight years on the city council, and look forward to returning."
Davis said he has been involved in local politics and community activism for two decades, and there are probably only a handful of people in Attleboro who have more experience than he does.
Both men say they have no problem with the incumbent.
"Frank and I have been friends for almost 20 years, and we served together on the planning board and city council," Davis said. "These elections aren't about the people who get into office, it's about serving the public."
Dowling added, "I'm not going to run against Frank Cook. My platform isn't going to be Frank Cook is deficient."
As to whether Cook will run, he told Patch after the Tuesday night council meeting he has not focused on making that decision. For the past several weeks Cook has dealt with health issues. He said his recent focus has been on improving his health, his current council duties and his job as a teacher.
If there are at least three candidates in the election, they will compete in a preliminary contest in September. The top two vote-getters would meet again in November. The deadline to enter the race is July 30.