|Harrington Rallies Base to Start Final Week Of DA's Race|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
05:02PM / Wednesday, October 31, 2018
|With her core campaign team behind her, Harrington gave a stump speech to rally a room full of supporters at the Tavern at the A on Tuesday.|
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.