|Caccaviello Announces Write-In Campaign For District Attorney|
|Staff Reports, |
10:31AM / Wednesday, September 19, 2018
|Paul Caccaviello said he will run a write-in campaign for district attorney.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — 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. After releasing the statement, Caccaviello did not respond to multiple messages left with him.
"For thirty years, my commitment has been to the citizens of Berkshire County. Many of the voters who have reached out to me over the last two weeks have expressed two common concerns: the importance of a candidate’s experience and demonstrated accomplishments, and what they view as money, support, and political influence on the race from outside of Berkshire County, I share those concerns and vow to redouble my efforts to keep the office of the District Attorney accountable to the people we serve and in the hands of competence, experience, and judgment informed by the prosecution of 5,000 plus cases. Public service has always been my calling. I am not a politician; I am a professional career prosecutor for the public that I have honorably served for thirty years," Caccaviello wrote in the statement
"To this end, I am answering the call from these grassroots efforts urging me to utilize the democratic process that allows us to continue to run for District Attorney as a write-in candidate on the November ballot."
Local attorney Andrea Harrington beat Caccaviello by about 700 votes in the Democratic primary. Caccaviello was former District Attorney David Capeless' first assistant for years until last March when Capeless retired so Caccaviello could run as an incumbent. Caccaviello came in second in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination against Harrington and Great Barrington attorney Judith Knight.
Harrington won the primary with nearly 40 percent of the vote, or 8,232 votes; Caccaviello was second with 7,540 and Knight third with 5,066 out of the more than 21,000 votes cast.
Caccaviello, who made the switch from unenrolled to Democrat to seek the party nomination, said he believes the office should be "above party politics" and alluded to Harrington's campaign as being one "manufactured by a powerful political machine."
"I am not a politician. I have believed that this office must be above party politics because our district attorney's responsibility is public safety, not the pursuit of a political agenda. And if I were a politician, I and my supporters are realizing now that we would have run a very different campaign. I'm proud of our campaign, the issue-oriented high-road we took and that we spent significantly less money than my opponent who achieved such a narrow margin of victory," Caccavielloe wrote.
"The District Attorney is the top law enforcement officer in Berkshire County and cannot be beholden to any political group, movement, or individual donor. Citizens must have the utmost confidence that their District Attorney will represent and protect them without regard to their party affiliation or political ideology. They must know that their DA is an experienced criminal attorney with a vast depth of knowledge, not a product manufactured by a powerful political machine."
Caccaviello said his campaign team hasn't fueled the fire behind a write-in campaign — despite publicly hinting at it on election night — but rather it was driven by a "grassroots movement" and Republicans and others who were unable to vote in the Democratic Party's election.
With no other candidate on the general election ballot, the winner of the primary had been considered the district attorney-elect — barring a write-in campaign.
"This larger group includes all the eligible voters of Berkshire County. These voters want and deserve a say in who will represent and protect them and their families as their District Attorney. The groundswell of support I have received in these past few weeks is truly humbling. It is a grassroots movement that neither my campaign nor I encouraged," Caccaviello wrote.
On Wednesday Harrington released a statement saying her win in the Democratic primary shows the direction the voters want Berkshire County to go. The statement doesn't mention Caccaviello's write-in bid but Harrington vowed to continue pursuing the types of changes to the office that the voters chose when she was elected as the nominee in the primary.
"I am incredibly proud to be the Democratic nominee for Berkshire County District Attorney. On September 4th, we won the Democratic primary election, because Berkshire County residents want a new direction in the justice system – prioritizing treatment over incarceration for non-violent drug offenses, standing up for victims of crime, and aggressively prosecuting violent criminals and traffickers of heroin and fentanyl. Voters put their trust in my vision and experience, and I look forward to fighting each and every day to make our region a safer and healthier place to live," Harrington wrote in a statement.