Harrington's family joined her at the celebration party.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Andrea Harrington has turned back a write-in challenge to claim victory as Berkshire County district attorney.
While her opponent, Paul Caccaviello has not conceded, Harrington has opened up enough of a lead that her supporters feel confident that she will carry the day.
"I am truly humbled by this opportunity and I make a promise to the people here today and the people of this community that I will always work for the best interest of Berkshire County," Harrington said to supporters gathered at Tavern at the A to celebrate her victory.
Harrington has won "every single town and city that has been reported," said Jonathan Lothrop. "We have won this race convincingly."
One of the most convincing results was in Pittsfield, the big prize in countywide elections. Harrington won there with 8,338 votes to Caccaviello's 7,133 - though 72 write-in votes are still considered "unresolved." Harrington had lost Pittsfield in the primary to Caccaviello.
The win was something Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer was glad to see.
"There was a Pittsfield contingent here that I want to acknowledge. So many of you walked with Andrea every step of the way and stood with her and for that, we won Pittsfield," Tyer told the crowd of Harrington supporters.
Harrington had also won the county's other city in North Adams by a margin of 2,710 to 1,046. Harrington had also lost the town of Adams in the primary but won it on Tuesday by a 1,689 to 1,120 margin.
Those type of numbers are consistent with primary results reported in a number of towns throughout the county.
Caccaviello, who mounted the write-in campaign after falling short in the Democratic primary, said he wants clarification on the actual votes cast.
"It's too important a position, it's too important to my supporters we need to make sure we know exactly what took place and then I'll decide my next step," he said.
While admitting that his numbers didn't look good, he said it was important to ensure what was actually counted because the decisions were being made by 32 different clerks. (The vote totals used were for write-ins prior to the city and town clerks checking who the write-ins were for.)
"We're in unprecedented territory here," Caccaviello said. "I do need to make sure that what's being projected is actually what's happening."
His fight to hang onto the office he inherited earlier this year from David Capeless was a tough one. He described it as a grassroots effort that was largely nonpartisan and thanked the "tremendous" efforts of his supporters in getting out the vote.
Caccaviello wants to verify the results over the next couple of days but the feeling among the crowd was one of disappointment and frustration at a gathering at Mazzeo's.
Caccaviello said even if the results do hold true, he doesn't regret running the write-in campaign. He said he is glad to have given his supporters a chance in the general election.
Harrington's supporters described the back-to-back races as a "roller coaster ride" (Ward 1 City Councilor Helen Moon) and "a street fight" (Tyer).
"It really takes a mighty force to take down an incumbent," said Moon, a member of Harrington's campaign team. "This victory is Andrea's and this victory belongs to everybody in this room, this victory belongs to the people of Berkshire County."
Tyer said voters had "decisively rejected the politics of attack" and that Pittsfield was ready for "a new kind of politics."
Harrington had won the primary by 700 votes, surprising many. She'd only been on the scene for a few years and had lost the state Senate primary two years before. But that experience had very obviously honed her campaign skills and she ran on a vision of justice and progressive politics.
"I am incredibly grateful for the voters for believing in me and believing in my vision," Harrington said. "My parents taught me from a very young age that life is really about working and believing in a power that is greater than ourselves and for me that's about justice and that is how I've centered my life."
She and her campaign team thanked the many supporters who made calls, knocked on doors and stood out -- mostly in the rain on Tuesday.
"She talked about the issues, she talked about what she was going to do and what her vision and plan was for this office," said state Rep. John Barrett III. "It was a grassroots effort in every sense of the word."
Lothrop also took some jabs at The Berkshire Eagle, which did not endorse Harrington for either the primary or the general election but called her the winner shortly after Harrington's campaign essentially claimed victory.
"A lot of crow is being eaten right now in Stockbridge," he said.
Harrington was also joined by state Reps. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Paul Mark, and Register of Deeds Patsy Harris, all of whom had run unopposed this election.
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