Primary to select Democratic candidate for district attorney

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Berkshire County residents registered as Democrats or unenrolled can vote in a Sept. 4 primary for one of three candidates running for the office of Berkshire district attorney.

David Capeless, who served as district attorney since 2004, retired in March and Paul Caccaviello, the first assistant district attorney under Capeless, was appointed to fill his seat.

Barring a successful Republican write-in campaign in November, the primary will determine the contest in Berkshire County.

People registered as Republicans have until Aug. 15 to change their party affiliation to Democrat or unenrolled for an opportunity to participate in the primary.

Campaign finance reports for each candidate can be viewed on the Office of Campaign and Political Finance website: www.ocpf.us/Filers/Index

Paul J. Caccaviello, 53, of Pittsfield

The candidate: Caccaviello, a native of Pittsfield, has spent his entire legal career in the Berkshire District Attorney's Office since graduating from the Western New England School of Law in 1989.

Caccaviello started out assigned to cases in the district courts, then moved to a Superior Court assignment in 1996, serving there through 2004, when he was appointed first assistant district attorney. When Capeless retired in March, Caccaviello was appointed to take his seat.

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Stated plans for the office: Expansion of the community outreach and education unit; permanent assignment of prosecutor and advocate to all domestic violence cases from start to finish; complete development of the office's hate crime programming and training; vigilant prosecution of cases where narcotics and firearms intersect.

Andrea Harrington, 43, of Richmond

The candidate: Harrington, a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law, has been an attorney for 15 years, including post-conviction work with individuals on death row in Florida, and appellate and defense work in district and juvenile court in Western Massachusetts. She is "of counsel" at Connor & Morneau LLP, a firm that concentrates on labor, workforce and consumer law, in Springfield.

In 2016, Harrington ran for the state Senate seat previously held by Benjamin B. Downing, but lost in the primary to the eventual winner, state Sen. Adam Hinds.

Stated plans for the office: Launch high-risk domestic violence task force; create District Attorney's Office advisory board; nonviolent offender diversion program for new offenders; bring veterans' court to the county.

Judith Knight, 57, of Lee

The candidate: Since Knight graduated from the Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia in 1987, she has garnered more than 30 years of experience as a defense attorney, prosecutor, legal mediator and adjunct law professor. For the past 12 years, Knight has been in private practice in Great Barrington. In 2006, she ran for the district attorney seat on a progressive platform against Capeless. After the death of Jo Ann Fitzpatrick Brown, Knight managed Blantyre in Stockbridge for two years, until new owners purchased the property.

Stated plans for the office: Allocate forfeiture money toward the development of a youth center in Pittsfield and opioid treatment facilities; create a "restorative justice" program to introduce consenting victims and defendants as part of sentencing; use diversion programs for nonviolent offenders; permanent assignment of prosecutor and advocate to all domestic violence cases from start to finish.


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