Experience building relationships key reason to vote Harrington for DA

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To the editor,

Will experience decide the District Attorney race? I think it should—and that is why I support Andrea Harrington. Paul Caccaviello’s familiarity with “business as usual” at the Berkshire County DA’s office is precisely why I am not supporting him. The office of Capeless and Caccaviello has resisted change for too long, and it is doing Berkshire County a disservice.

If Mr. Caccaviello were truly interested in reform, there is more he could have done than just make promises to Judith Knight to earn her endorsement. After all, he is the DA: he has had the opportunity to begin setting in place the changes he would like to make. A DA has a great deal of discretion in how to approach the job, but Mr. Caccaviello would have us believe that his hands are tied—that “the laws are the laws” and that’s it.

The diversity and breadth of Ms. Harrington’s experience make her Berkshire County’s best choice for DA. Any barred attorney with litigation experience can be a prosecutor. Effective management as a DA requires experience as a defense and family law attorney. It requires experience building relationships and being a board member with associated community services. It requires looking to other DA’s offices for best practices and effective use of data and evaluation. Ms. Harrington has the expertise needed to envision and shepherd the reforms so badly needed here. 

The DA is an elected office for a reason: to provide a check and balance by the community, which is not the case with appointed roles. Far from criticizing Ms. Harrington for running a campaign that has earned the support of voters and elected leaders here and around the state, we should recognize that political acumen is another valuable tool in the portfolio of strengths and qualities she will bring to the DA’s office.

Ms. Harrington knows that the DA’s office is a team, not a single individual, and that she is answerable to our community. The Berkshire County DA’s office has fallen behind the curve of best practices in the state and nationally, and Ms. Harrington has the interest and skills to explore alternatives. Please join me in voting for Andrea Harrington on Nov. 6.

— Anne O’Connor,

Williamstown, MA

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