Harrington's husband Timothy Walsh reflected on the campaign and thanked the crowd for the support of Harrington and their entire family.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It is the final week in the district attorney's race and those in Andrea Harrington's camp are as energetic as ever.
The campaign held a rally Tuesday exactly one week before the general election for a final push to get out the vote.
The event was part fundraiser -- goodwill donations were accepted -- and part organizing as campaigner staffers sorted out volunteers for sign holding on election day, and a part rally to energize those supporters.
"I did not run this election to win this race. I ran to transform this community and that is exactly what we are going to do," Harrington told her supporters at the end of a short speech that elicited loud cheers.
Harrington has already won one race and didn't expect to have to run another. She was the victor in the three-way primary for the Democratic nomination and, at the time, it was anticipated that since no other party was putting a candidate on the ballot she would win. But incumbent Paul Caccaviello, who finished second, opted to mount a write-in campaign.
"We have worked tirelessly. People have skipped time with their families, they have taken time off from work ... and we have run two full-on, aggressive campaigns in the course of nine months," Harrington said.
She has continued to promote herself as being the candidate of change. Caccaviello spent 30 years in the office and was the first assistant district attorney until March when former District Attorney David Capeless stepped down to allow for him to be appointed and run as an incumbent.
"We know things are not working as they should. We know about the crime statistics and it is time for a district attorney that is accountable to this community. It is time for a district attorney who instead of pointing the finger at their fellow elected officials, jumps in, rolls up their sleeves, and says 'what can I do? 'How can I help?" Harrington said.
Campaigning as a progressive reformer, Harrington promised to be tough on violent criminals while transforming the top prosecutor's division into a "modern office." She said she will be the district attorney who rolls up her sleeves to solve the public safety problems in the county.
"When I am the district attorney were are going to prosecute people who hurt other people. We are going to prosecute people who commit sexual assault and we are going to prosecute child abusers. We are going to prosecute drug traffickers," Harrington said.
"But, the other piece of my campaign is about problem-solving. Being the district attorney is not just about prosecuting people, getting people jail time, and sending people to prison. In a modern district attorney's office, the job is about public safety."
Harrington said the district attorney's office has been "failing" and that everybody knows somebody struggling with the opioid crisis. She said she's met numerous people afraid to open their doors because they could be hurt. She said she's heard many stories of people with concerns about drug dealing in their neighborhoods.
"We believe in this community. We have seen how people in this community have suffered. My vision for the district attorney's office comes from being a daughter of Berkshire County. It comes from raising my family here. It comes from fighting for my clients who are the most marginalized people you could imagine. It comes from all of those things. It does not come from sitting at a desk doing a job, the same thing, for 30 years," Harrington said.
"It comes from the heart and it comes from the experience of seeing what is going on out there in the streets, in our cities, and in our towns."
Caccaviello has cast her as being inexperienced with the legal system, but Harrington says her experience is not just 15 years as an attorney but also as someone living, working, and being active in the community. She said she has recognized the issues and has the ability to problem solve and inspire.
"This campaign is not about me. It is not about us. This campaign is about the people of this community, the people living here now and it is about our children and the future of this community. This election marks a change in our community that will resonate for decades to come," Harrington said.
"Four years, eight years, 12 years, people will look back at this race and they will know that is when the tide turned for Berkshire County."
Christine Yon serves as the master of ceremonies.
Harrington entered the campaign as an underdog and Christine Yon, a former city councilor, said even she was doubtful that Harrington could upset the "established powerhouse of the district attorney."
"I didn't think she stood a chance. But, you know what, Andrea Harrington proved me wrong. It wasn't long into this campaign that I realized she might be small, but she is an unstoppable force. She has leadership ability and a work ethic that is second to none," Yon said.
Yon said Harrington has shown true leadership throughout the campaign and she is fully supportive of the campaign. Leadership, integrity, and change were a common theme among comments from a little more than a half dozen on Harrington's campaign team.
Harrington's husband, Timothy Walsh, recalled the first debate in the primary race. He remembers overhearing attorneys in the other camp saying Harrington didn't have a shot against Caccaviello.
"What unfolded over the next hour was pure, poetic, karma at its best, Andrea Harrington at her best. I watched. I listened to the plan to take this office into the future. She presented a concrete plan for change," Walsh said.
Walsh said the debate was in "hostile territory" and he remembered thinking that Harrington had just knocked a hornet's nest to the ground.
"After that night a number of people joined us and then it was built into a small army. Very soon the disbelievers had a belief in this woman's clear vision, ambition, and courage and it was not going to be stopped. The world that was is going to be changed," he said.
What unfolded over the next several months over summer was a tough campaign. The race led to a very high turnout for a primary and the race was close with Harrington beating Caccaviello by 3 points. Supporters celebrated the victory and Harrington set her eyes on organizing a transition team and setting the stage to take over as the first woman district attorney in the county's history.
But then Caccaviello announced his write-in. The Harrington campaign had to ramp back up -- knocking on doors, advertising, and doing what it can to get out the vote. She reeled in endorsements from top Democrats.
Meanwhile, Caccaviello has doubled down on his emphasis on experience and worked to promote a "bipartisan" campaign, saying the position isn't a political one and casting Harrington as a politician and not somebody invested in the community. He's gained the support of the third-place finisher in the Democratic primary, Judith Knight.
Walsh said he hopes their children will be telling their children how Harrington "took on Goliath and a hornet's nest and transformed the community into a better place." But first, she'll have to win the general election on Tuesday.
In the latest surprising turn in the race for district attorney, the second-place finisher in the Democratic primary has now been endorsed by the Republican Party. Paul A. Caccaviello is being supported in his write-in campaign against Andrea Harrington by the Berkshire County Republican Association
Judith Knight isn't going to be the next district attorney. But she hopes Paul Caccaviello will be. Knight, who finished third in the Democratic primary in September, is putting her support behind Caccaviello's write-in campaign. Knight made the announcement on steps of the Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday.
The bell has been rung to start Round 2. Paul Caccaviello announced on Wednesday that he intends to run a write-in campaign for district attorney. The announcement comes two weeks after he lost the Democratic primary. Caccaviello released a statement confirming his intention to continue to seek the office of district attorney, however, was not available for further comment moments after releasing the statement.
When Andrea Harrington entered the district attorney's race, she knew she could do it. She fully expected to win the race. She didn't think she was an underdog in the race, but she was. "I didn't realize how improbable my winning was until I actually won," Harrington said on Thursday.
The lead between the candidates shifted as the votes in the two cities were recorded but narrowed as ballots from the smaller towns came streaming in. Harrington opened up a lead that couldn't be overcome.
Whether those final affirmations by well-known names will swing any late-deciders toward — or away — from a candidate is yet to be seen. Still, the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Berkshire district attorney, and essentially the election, have been showcasing the support they racked up.
The buzz after Tuesday's afternoon debate centers on a last-second comment from candidate Judith Knight. "Andrea, you have so little experience that you don't even know what you don't know," Knight said in her closing remarks.
With less than two weeks to go, Mayor Linda Tyer is putting her support behind Andrea Harrington in the race for district attorney. "My endorsement comes with the strong belief that Andrea and I share similar values and we are like-minded. We both believe in creating opportunities for social justice and for thinking differently about entrenched problems," Tyer said.
Andrea Harrington said some 95 percent of criminal cases end with plea deals crafted behind closed doors. When one person gets probation after being caught with pounds of marijuana and guns, while another person is given a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for selling a joint worth of marijuana, it certainly gives people pause. They wonder, is the justice system fair?
Judith Knight says she has "shown you what I am." On Wednesday night, the candidate for district attorney boasted of some 30 years of work in the community. She stood as a defense attorney up for teenagers for whom she believed were inappropriately getting the book thrown at them from former District Attorney David Capeless for selling marijuana.
The aspirants for Berkshire district attorney fielded some two dozen questions and were given only a minute each to respond. There was no debate between the candidates but Caccaviello, the incumbent, and challenger Harrington had a few sharp words.
Back on May 11, the owner of Otto's took to Facebook in criticizing the way the district attorney got the job. David Capeless in March stepped down from the position early after working for months with the governor's office to get Paul Caccaviello appointed to the job. Capeless made no bones about it saying, "I am taking this step now because I want Paul to run for election as the district attorney as I did 14 years ago."
If you want things to change, you need something different. That's Andrea Harrington's view when it comes to reforming the criminal justice system. And now, she wants to be that change. She is seeking election as the next district attorney following the retirement of David Capeless.
For Paul Caccaviello, the district attorney's job is a call to service. After 14 years as the first assistant district attorney, Caccaviello is looking to fill the shoes being left by David Capeless, who retired. With some 30 years as a prosecutor, Caccaviello said he has the most experience and qualifications to take over the office.
Judith Knight isn't a natural politician. She's an attorney. She's a defense attorney who has spent years on the other side of a courtroom from a district attorney's office that operated in a way that she doesn't think is for the best. Back in 2006, her frustration boiled over when she watched the district attorney's office prosecute a teenager over minor drug charges and she launched a campaign to take over the office.
Andrea Harrington says the "status quo" in the district attorney's office is not working for Berkshire County. "It is time to have a district attorney with integrity and who is accountable to this community," Harrington said.
Paul Caccaviello had a domestic homicide case while working in the district attorney's office and he said he brought in behavioral experts to help teach and understand the issues of domestic abuse. He said he's taken steps to create a sub-unit to focus directly on domestic abuse cases and to understand the best ways to become proactive in domestic abuse cases to halt things from getting worse. And that's what he says he'll do if elected as the new district attorney this fall.
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."
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Holyoke Mayor Morse Challenges Neal In Congressional Race
By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Morse is joined by a large crowd of supporters at the Unicorn Inn on Monday night.
HOLYOKE, Mass. — They said he couldn't do it.
There is no way a 21-year-old, turning 22, could defeat an incumbent mayor with years of political experience. And there was no way the city of Holyoke was ever going to be as good as it had been.
"When I ran for mayor eight years ago, people had a few things to say. They said No. 1, wait your turn. No. 2 maybe run for something else. Or No. 3, don't run at all, you are too young, too gay, too progressive, you are not going get elected here in the city of Holyoke," Alex Morse said at the Unicorn Inn on Monday night to a crowd full of supporters.
They said he couldn't do.
There is no way a 21-year-old, turning 22, could defeat an incumbent mayor with years of political experience. And there was no way the city of Holyoke was ever going to be as good as it had been. click for more
By 2010, the old YMCA boathouse was just about to fall into the lake because it had fallen into such disrepair.
Scott Graves then had an idea to save it. He'd take the property that wasn't one the tax rolls, renovate it and turn it into a private marina and club. Instead of the city ultimately... click for more
More than two dozen teenagers from Camp Lenox spent Friday cleaning up the west side of Pittsfield.
In partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, the campers cleaned up Durant Park, Columbus Avenue, and opened up the staircase at the end of Francis Avenue that had become overgrown... click for more
When Patrick Kavey returned to his hometown he had trouble finding work.
"I started applying to professional jobs. I had an interesting time finding either a job that would compensate me based on what you would see for an area of this size in the region or just finding specific jobs in general,"... click for more
Wetland issues have derailed planned improvements to Pontsoosuc Lake Park.
The Friends of Pontoosuc Lake received $15,000 from the Community Preservation Act with the intent to restore the beach on the Hancock Road side. The city's Parks, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager Jim... click for more