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Andrea Harrington campaign questions rival's outreach to GOP voters; Timothy Shugrue lists appearances

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Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington, left, and Democrat challenger Timothy Shugrue will meet in a debate next week sponsored by the Berkshire Brigades.

Editor’s note: The Berkshire Eagle will bring readers updates on candidates and campaigns ahead of the Sept. 6 primary elections. This recap is drawn from submissions from the candidates.

Berkshire District Attorney

HARRINGTON QUESTIONS SHUGRUE ON CROSSOVER VOTING: Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s campaign this week faulted a move by her challenger to get Republicans to vote, as is allowed, in the Sept. 6 Democratic primary.

It cited a social media post by Timothy Shugrue’s campaign encouraging Republicans to switch their party registrations to enable them to vote in the primary.

“Tim Shugrue is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat — pure and simple,” the Harrington campaign said in a statement. “He is advocating for policies that will move Berkshire County back 30 years. … It’s shameful.”

SHUGRUE APPEARANCES: Shugrue’s campaign released a schedule of his appearances for the coming days. They include stops at the Otis Steak Bake on Saturday; at the North Adams Motorama on Sunday; at the Berkshire Brigades debate at The Mount at 1 p.m. Tuesday; and at an election rally at Proprietor’s Lodge in Pittsfield at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The campaign said it also plans to run phone banks and neighborhood visits and invited supporters to get involved by emailing timothyjshugrueforda@gmail.com.

HARRINGTON BACKED BY ANTI-VIOLENCE GROUP: Andrea Harrington received a campaign designation from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The grassroots group works to support public safety measures that protect people from gun violence. It was founded the day after the Sandy Hook school shooting and has chapters throughout the U.S.

Berkshire County Sheriff

BARBALUNGA LISTS ENDORSEMENTS: The Alfred E. “Alf” Barbalunga campaign reports receiving endorsements from the following people: Daniel E. Bosley, former state representative, who said of the candidate: “He is a true gentleman, a man of character, and an established professional in the criminal justice field.”

Also, James B. Conant of the Pittsfield City Council and chair of the Conservation Commission; Guy W. Glodis, retired Worcester County sheriff; Chris Maloney, retired U.S. probation officer; Kevin J. Sherman, Pittsfield City Council member and former council president, who said, “In working with Alf in his role as Chairman of the Pittsfield School Committee I found his leadership to be professional, practical, pragmatic, and inclusive. To me, the skills he demonstrated would allow him to be a great sheriff”; Brian C. Weber, president of the Massachusetts Chief Probation Officers Association Inc.; and Katherine L. Yon, former chair of the Pittsfield School Committee.

CHALLENGER ASSAILS ‘DYNASTY’ IN SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Barbalunga’s campaign took aim again this week at how the current sheriff manages his office’s budget, alleging that pay is allocated unwisely based on its review of payroll data.

“Take the sheriff’s ‘part-time’ CFO,” Barbalunga said in a campaign statement. “In 2011, she earned $46,240. Reasonable. In 2019, after annual increases, his CFO earned $61,931 ‘part-time’. That’s a 34 percent salary increase in eight years. In 2020, she earned $123,490, with no overtime, buyout or other pay. Her salary just doubled, again ‘part-time.’ In 2021, she earned $139,325, another $15,000 raise. Additionally, the state also reports she earned $54,600 from a state pension from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office in 2021.”

“If the state [payroll database] is right, that’s over $200,000 in taxpayer dollars to a ‘part-time’ employee. … Spending seems unchecked, and there are unfortunate negative consequences to the rank-and-file employees when money gets understandably tight, due to his spending tendencies.”

REGIONAL LOCKUP PROMISE: The Barbalunga campaign this week said it would commit to running a regional lockup available to towns around Berkshire County and to provide health specialists who could respond to 911 calls involving people in mental health crisis.

The campaign said its research shows that the regional lockup is not always available to small police departments. In a statement, the candidate said space is available at the Cheshire Road jail.

“We are fully staffed at the levels we had when we had 400 inmates, and our jail is currently two-thirds empty,” Barbalunga said. “Clearly, there is plenty of room to host prisoners for our local police partners.”

State Senate

MARK CAMPAIGN NOTES ENDORSEMENTS: State Rep. Paul Mark’s campaign for the state Senate seat held by Adam Hinds reports it received endorsements from the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund and the Neighbor to Neighbor Action Fund.

Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak, president of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, said the group believes Mark would make it a priority to advance “reproductive health equity” in Massachusetts, “ensuring safe, legal abortion is accessible to all. The stakes have never been higher.”

Other recent endorsements for Mark: 350 Mass Action, the Massachusetts Sierra Club, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO; Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer; North Adams Mayor Jennifer Macksey; U.S. Sen. Ed Markey; Attorney General Maura Healey; state Sen. Adam Hinds; state Reps. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, William “Smitty” Pignatelli of Lenox, John Barrett III of North Adams and former state Sen. Ben Downing.

Mark is being challenged in the Sept. 6 primary by Huff Templeton of Williamstown. The winner of the primary will face Brendan Phair of Pittsfield, an unenrolled candidate.

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