Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is officially supporting Councilman Ricardo Arroyo in the race for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, she announced on Saturday.
Arroyo will face current Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden in the Democratic primary in September. Arroyo is a second-term adviser who has teamed up with Wu in the past. Arroyo and his father Felix, of the Suffolk County Probate Registry, endorsed Wu during his mayoral campaign last fall.
During his press conference, Wu praised Arroyo’s leadership on the council’s government operations committee and his service as a former public defender, The Boston Globe reported.
“At this moment of tremendous challenge, as we are still trying to pick up the pieces of the pandemic, let’s use those pieces to reinvent something bolder, brighter, fairer, more prosperous for all of us,” said Wu. “It’s a campaign about possibilities, it’s a campaign about justice, it’s a campaign about people.”
Hayden was chosen by Governor Charlie Baker to complete the term of former Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins. Late last year, Rollins was narrowly confirmed by the US Senate as the new US Attorney for Massachusetts. She took office in January.
Adam Webster, spokesman for Hayden’s campaign, said Arroyo was underqualified for the job, according to the World.
“If Mayor Wu thinks a rookie lawyer with no public safety experience should be the best law enforcement officer in the county, that’s his choice. We’re sure voters won’t be okay,” Webster said in a statement.
Arroyo has also been endorsed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, former Boston Mayor Kim Janey and State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz.
A native of Hyde Park, Arroyo was elected as an alderman for District 5 in 2019. In his current run, Arroyo’s platform centers on accountability, addressing class and race disparities, and opposing mass incarceration, according to its website. He favors ending qualified immunity, arguing that the doctrine “has protected the very people charged with upholding and enforcing the law from any consequences for breaking it.”
Arroyo also supports Rachael Rollins’ Do Not Charge list prosecution, which creates a rebuttable presumption that certain listed offenses will not be charged. Instead of prosecuting people for most non-violent offenses, authorities should instead provide them with support services and offer restorative justice options like community service.
Arroyo said he would continue Rollins’ work if elected, the World reported.
“We’ve made more progress in three years than we’ve ever made in this district attorney’s office on making sure people get the services and resources they need,” Arroyo said. .
I don’t want to allow us to lose a single step of the progress we’ve made,” Arroyo added.
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