PITTSFIELD — As the district attorney’s election nears, the field of candidates appears to be in the early stages of taking shape — and the incumbent, Andrea Harrington, is staffing up.
According to an online job posting out late last month, the Harrington for District Attorney campaign was seeking a political and communications fellow to spearhead social media, outreach and more.
She also has made payments of $4,000 to $5,000 to political advisers Emily Kaufman and Adam Webster, the latter of whom is serving as a Harrington for District Attorney spokesperson.
Payments ranging from several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars also were paid over the summer to The Chick Montana Group and DLM Strategies, firms that specialize in campaign finance, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
But, despite her call for staff and recent campaign expenditures, Harrington formally has not announced her reelection bid. Her first term ends at the end of 2022.
“DA Harrington is focused on doing the work of the DA’s office, and continuing to work to keep residents of Berkshire County safe and healthy. This is what she has been doing as DA and what she will continue to do. That will continue to be the focus of her time as district attorney,” Webster told The Eagle on Wednesday. “She’ll be making a formal announcement sometime in the spring.”
Though Harrington appears to be the only person registered to run in next year’s election for Berkshire district attorney, she isn’t the only person expected to mount a bid. Defense attorney and former prosecutor Robert Sullivan said he is running for the office, and plans to formalize his campaign with the OCPF by the end of the week, with defense lawyer Shannon Plumb to serve as his treasurer. He expects to hold a formal campaign kickoff event early next year.
Sullivan served as a prosecutor under former Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless. He previously called for Harrington’s resignation, after the DA’s unsuccessful attempt to unseat a District Court judge, a move that was met with deep criticism by statewide attorneys groups.
He said he will run as an unenrolled candidate, meaning he won’t be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties, saying that although the position is an elected one, “the goals of the job should be apolitical.”
“Between my experience being in the office and working on the opposite side of the aisle with them, it has become very clear that the leadership there is not doing what they should be doing, and I think it’s impacting the community to a large extent,” Sullivan said.
Defense attorney Judith Knight said Wednesday that she, too, is considering a run for district attorney, and expects to make a decision either way by late January or early February. She ran for the office in 2018, and finished third in the Democratic primary.
“I am putting together an exploratory committee to consider running again for district attorney,” she told The Eagle. “I’m excited; I’m getting really an overwhelming response so far.”
Harrington was elected DA on a progressive platform in 2018, after an atypically contentious campaign for office in which she defeated incumbent Paul Caccaviello in the Democratic primary.
Typically, the Democratic victor would sail straight to office, but Caccaviello mounted a write-in campaign, from which Harrington emerged victorious.