Former New England Patriots player Matt Light's bid for a seat on the Foxborough School Committee fell short on Monday night.
Unofficial election results showed Light lost the election to incumbents Rob Canfield and Brent Ruter. The pair retained their seats, with more than 1,700 votes each, according to unofficial figures. Light had 1,137 votes, while another challenger, Joseph Pires, received 728.
Since Light left the New England Patriots a decade ago, he’s devoted much of his time to his “Light Foundation” and to raising his four children -- all of whom have attended or currently attend Foxboro Public Schools.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.
The former NFL player told NBC10 Boston last month that he was looking toward his next challenge on the school committee as a call to serve.
“You know, there’s been that little tap on my shoulder that says 'Hey, it’s time for you to now serve,'" Light said.
Professional athletes who go on to run for political office typically go for the U.S. Senate or Congress.
Light decided to run for local elected office because, he said, "If I’m going to do something, I want to make sure that it’s going to have an impact and not just be worth my time, but be worth you know the actual effort... and know that I’m being a part of something that will make a difference.”
Light opposed mask mandates in schools, citing research that showed the vast majority of children were not seriously affected by COVID-19.
“We saw other ways of doing things and when we would bring those up or we’d offer you know some other insights or you know studies that have been done… it just didn’t seem to carry any weight,” he said.
Masks were no longer being worn in Foxborough schools at the time, but Light said he was looking ahead. He also criticized local leaders who he said felt too uncomfortable to take a stand on the issue.