image description
The supporters stayed until the sun went down Friday night.

Caccaviello's Team Holds Final Standout as Election Day Approaches

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

Caccaviello supporters stand on every corner of the busy intersection.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Amanda Hamilton didn't personally know William Catalano but she knew the family.
She said she knows Catalano's father very well and refers to the Catalanos as family friends. Her father, Tim Hamilton, said the two families grew up together. Catalano was recently killed and they want justice.
They believe if Paul Caccaviello wins the district attorney race, justice will come. Caccaviello is currently seeking election as a write-in for district attorney and on Friday the Hamiltons introduced themselves and asked if they could hold a sign during a standout the campaign organized to rally support.
"Paul has the experience to get him the justice he needs whereas Andrea Harrington doesn't have the experience and personal knowledge of it. We just feel like Paul needs everyone's full support to get justice for the Catalano family," Amanda Hamilton said.
Caccaviello currently serves as the district attorney after being appointed to the job when former District Attorney David Capeless retired early to allow him to run as the incumbent. Caccaviello sought the Democratic nomination for the seat but was defeated by Harrington. But Caccaviello isn't going quietly into the night as he's rallied support for a write-in bid.
"After that primary, a lot of folks approached me to consider doing this. It is a family decision to do this and speaking to folks, we decided it is the right thing to do," Caccaviello said. "Since we made the decision those please consider turned to thank you for giving us an opportunity to vote."
The Hamiltons had supported Caccaviello in the primary and after the Catalano incident, they became more active in pushing for Caccaviello.
"People are concerned about what is going on around here. There are murders going on. Are you going to let somebody handle that case that has no experience?" Tim Hamilton said. "There is nothing that replaces experience in my eyes. There is no replacement for experience."
Caccaviello has placed an emphasis on his time in the office, comparing it to Harringtons. He boasts of more than 5,000 cases, convictions vicious criminals, and work in all levels of prosecuting.
"To me, it is a no-brainer. The guy has 30 years in the DA's office, 14 years as the first assistant, he's a good, honorable man. I think the county needs him. We need that strong prosecuting experience," Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Simonelli said. 
Bianca Chessa is a hairdresser and she's been talking to her clients all the time about the district attorney's race. On Friday her hands were holding up the other end of the sign Caccaviello was holding at the corner of West Housatonic Street and Center Street. 
"I feel like he is trustworthy and I like that he is running as a non-partisan candidate because that is what I think a DA should be," Chessa said.
Chessa said she got particularly active in politics because so few of her fellow millennials do. 

Caccaviello says he is happy with the amount of support he's gotten.
"Given the climate of things, it is really important for millennials to actually get out and have our faces seen. I'm trying to represent my demographic. I think young people really need to get out and make our voices heard, be seen in the community," she said.
She also has an addict in her family, so the criminal justice system, victim advocacy, and ensuring people in the justice system are being in the right place to get what they need hit close to home.
Voters head to the polls on Tuesday to make a decision. Friday's standout was the last one for the Caccaviello camp before election day, but it isn't the end of the work.
"We'll continue to work hard all weekend. You can't be complacent in that. We've got to continue to work hard, canvassing, calling, we'll be out and about," Caccaviello said.
Write-in campaigns are seldom successful but Caccaviello's isn't like most of the others. He already had a core group of supporters from his run in the primary and he's worked to expand his reach beyond those who vote in Democratic primaries.
"With this one, it is the enthusiasm and support from all walks of political life — Republicans, Democrats, unenrolled — that we're feeling a lot of and it is a good feeling," Caccaviello said.
For all of those at the standout, the biggest sticking point for them is his history in the office. 
"The DA's position is such an important position in the judicial system and you need somebody that's been there, done that, knows what to do. I think there are nine inmates at the county jail awaiting trial for murder ...  you need some experience and I just don't think Andrea bring it," Simonelli said. "She's nice. I've met her. I don't think there is anything wrong with her. But I just don't think she is the right fit for this position."
Simonelli believes Caccaviello sometimes get blames for things Capeless did or for crimes he couldn't have prevented. Simonelli says it he gets frustrated when he sees alleged violent criminals get let out on bail, but that's something that would have to change in the Legislature, not the district attorney's office.
"If you have a problem with Capeless, that's Capeless. This is a whole different guy. Just because you don't like something Capeless did, you can't hang it on Paul," Simonelli said.
He said some of the concepts proposed by Harrington are already being done. The former teacher remembers meeting with representatives from the district attorney's office often to discuss youth offenders and outreach programs. He said it is already being done.
As the days tick by, Caccaviello said he is feeling good as the race enters the final stretch.
"We're feeling good. We're feeling really good. The contact with voters and the energy not just in our campaign but when we go and meet people has been through the roof but you never want to take anything for granted," he said.
Ongoing Coverage
image description

Harrington Rallies Base to Start Final Week Of DA's...

It is the final week in the district attorney's race and those in Andrea Harrington's camp are as energetic as ever. On Tuesday, the campaign held a rally exactly one week before the general election and the final push to get out the vote unfolds. The event was part fundraiser - donations were accepted but we whatever the supporter wanted to give - part organizing - as campaigner staffers sorted out volunteers for sign holding on election day - and a part rally to energize the supporters.

image description

Berkshire Republicans Back Democrat Caccaviello In...

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

image description

Knight Backs Caccaviello in District Attorney's Race

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.

image description

AG Healey Touts Record, Endorses Harrington for...

Attorney General Maura Healey stressed the importance of voting at the local level during her stop at Democratic campaign headquarters on North Street this past Monday.

image description

Democrats Open Pittsfield HQ For November's Election...

With the primaries in the rearview, Democrats are gearing up for the final election push. Locally the party opened a North Street headquarters for the coordinated campaign.

image description

Caccaviello Announces Write-In Campaign For District...

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.

image description

Harrington Reflects On DA Race, Looks Toward...

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.

image description

Harrington Claims Victory in Tight District Attorney...

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.

image description

Endorsements Roll in For Final Push in District...

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.

image description

Heated Ending to DA Candidates' Final Debate

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.

image description

Tyer Backs Harrington In District Attorney's Race

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.

image description

DA Candidates Battle in Pittsfield Gazette Debate at...

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?

image description

Candidates Double Down on Talking Points in DA Debate...

In 2009 Rebecca Moulton had a restraining order against her then-boyfriend David Vincent and she had left the apartment the pair shared. And then later she was found beaten to death in that apartment.

image description

District Attorney Candidates Display Differences in...

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.

image description

Berkshire District Attorney Candidates Field Questions...

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.

image description

Criticism Of Caccaviello Leads To Sharp Exchanges...

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."

image description

Harrington Running to Reform District Attorney's...

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.

image description

Caccaviello Leans On Experience in Race for District...

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.

image description

Knight Pushes Progressive Platform, Experience in DA...

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.

image description

Harrington Kicks Off Campaign For District Attorney

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.

image description

District Attorney Candidates Meet Head To Head In...

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.

image description

Caccaviello Officially Kicks Off Campaign For District...

Wisdom comes from experience and Paul Caccaviello says his 30 years of working in the district attorney's office has given him the wisdom to lead it

image description

Andrea Harrington to Challenge Caccaviello for...

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."

image description

Caccaviello Sworn in as Berkshire District Attorney

The new district attorney has taken office. Paul Caccievello was sworn into the position Thursday after being appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to fill the role being vacated by David Capeless.

image description

Capeless Stepping Down After 14 Years as District...

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless is stepping down effective March 15.


Tags: district attorney,   election 2018,   

Comments are closed for this article. If you would like to contribute information on this article, e-mail us at

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Oct. 18-24

The 15th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival continues through Sunday, Oct. 20. The Dayramir Gonzalez Quartet will perform at Berkshire Museum on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be preceded by a wine bar that opens at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m., The Colonial Theatre will host legendary vocalist Stephanie Nakasian and her daughter, Veronica Swift, in a rare pairing. The Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble will open.
Follow the yellow brick road to A Night in Emerald City and help Berkshire County Kids' Place raise critical funds. Enjoy dinner, entertainment, a silent auction and more, at the Country Club of Pittsfield. 5-8:30 p.m.
FRI MAD Crew Halloween Bash at The A | FRI The Equalites at The Colonial | FRI Story Slam (In a Slump) at Dottie's | FRI Andy Kelly at Bread & Roses Coffee House | FRI Pediatric Development Center Fundraiser w/Whiskey City at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Spanish Guitarist Ben Schmolze at Mission | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Sky Full of Dippers at Hotel on North | FRI Jay Boland at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI-SAT Wine, Cheese and Trees at Bousquet | SAT Generation X Rock at The A | SAT Lyndsay Anne at Proprietor's Lodge | SAT Django's Reserve at Mission | SAT Desserts & Live Music w/Hannah Bourdon at Dottie's | SUN Eagles Small Ensembles Concert at First United Methodist | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Jazz Night at Mission | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow THU Comedian Gus Constantellis at The Colonial THU Haunted Hancock at Hancock Shaker Village THU Arrowhead After Dark | THU Throwback Thursday at Uncorked | THU Jim Witherell at Proprietor's Lodge | THU The Picky B's at Mission
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories