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Andrea Harrington, seen in this file photo, is running for district attorney.

Andrea Harrington to Challenge Caccaviello for District Attorney

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Local attorney Andrea Harrington took out papers on Tuesday morning to primary Berkshire District Attorney Paul Caccaviello, who was sworn in just five days ago.
The former Democratic candidate for state senator had hinted last week on "The John Krol Show" that she was interested, saying people had reached out to her about running and that she was "taking a really hard look at it." 
She ended any speculation by pulling papers Tuesday morning at the secretary of the commonwealth's office in Springfield.  She said she will be officially kicking off her campaign in the weeks ahead.
"I'm excited to announce my candidacy for Berkshire County District Attorney," said Harrington in a statement. "I want to bring a fresh approach to the DA's office focused on real solutions to combating the opioid epidemic, preventing crime through effective social programs and community engagement, and focusing on recovery and re-entry services to reduce recidivism.
"This campaign is about keeping our communities safe through an effective approach to prevention and rehabilitation."
Former District Attorney David Capeless' abrupt announcement at the beginning of March that he would retire so that Caccaviello could be appointed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, all within two weeks, took many by surprise. Capeless, in his remarks on March 1, said he was stepping down now "because I want Paul to be able to run for election as the district attorney." 
Harrington last week described Caccaviello's promotion from first assistant attorney as "backroom politics" that reduces turnover in district attorney positions.
"The powers that be have sort of our bestowed our next district attorney on us and I think that the people of Berkshire County really deserve more," Harrington said to Krol last Friday. "They deserve to be able to make the choice about who their elected leaders are going to be."
Uncontested elections mean discussions about important issues don't get debated or deeply discussed, she said.
"The Berkshires is on the front line of the opioid epidemic that claims the lives of hundreds of our friends, neighbors, and family members every year. Every day, countless  Berkshire residents are working to fight this public health crisis, but we need leadership in the district attorney's office that supports the work of our first responders and public health workers," Harrington said in her announcement. "That means increasing access to recovery beds and prioritizing treatment over incarceration for non-violent drug offenders. 
"Through my work as an attorney, I have seen the effectiveness of drug courts, and I support their expansion in the region. I've seen how critical youth outreach and educational programs are for crime prevention.  And through my advocacy work here in our communities, I know that investing in effective programming will make our cities and towns safer and healthier places to live."
Harrington grew up in Richmond where she and her husband, Tim, are raising their two sons. She is an attorney at Connor & Morneau LLP and has been practicing law for more than 15 years. She has been actively involved in the region, serving as a member her local Affordable Housing Committee, School Council, and as an advisory board member of the regional non-profit BerkShares Inc. She also is a member of the Richmond School Committee and co-founder of the Berkshire Committee of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus. She is a member of the Berkshire Bar Association and Hampden County Bar Association and has experience in criminal law and civil litigation.
Harrington is a graduate of Taconic High School in Pittsfield, the University of Washington, and American University's Washington College of Law.
The Democratic primary is Sept. 4. No Republican candidates have announced so far.

Tags: Democratic Party,   district attorney,   election 2018,   primary,   

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Environment Secretary Visits Pittsfield

Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of energy and environmental affairs, visits the site of culvert project in Pittsfield being funded through the state's climate readiness program.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides was in Pittsfield on Friday to review a state-funded culvert site and meet with local officials to discuss the state's climate readiness program. 
She joined Mayor Linda Tyer at the Churchill Street culvert, a site which recently received grant funding through the state's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program. The city was awarded an $814,524 state grant in June for the Churchill Brook and West Street Culvert Replacement Project.
Through the MVP program, which begun in 2017, municipalities identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. The initiative which initially started as a $500,000 capital grant program has now increased to $12 million. Pittsfield is among the 71 percent of communities across the commonwealth now enrolled in the MVP program.
"The governor and the lieutenant governor have made resilient infrastructure a priority all across the state and I think it's really important to know that we have a really vested interest in Western Massachusetts communities as well as all across the state, not forgetting the Berkshires or Pioneer Valley," said Theoharides in a statement. "Our MVP program is really focused on these types of partnership investments and looking to design infrastructure for the challenges we're seeing today and moving forward as climate change increases."
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