Kudos to Jarrett Barrios

( - promoted by Charley on the MTA)

As everyone knows by now, Jarrett Barrios is “suspending” his campaign for Middlesex DA and will instead seek reelection to the state Senate.

I don’t doubt that Barrios really wanted the DA job, and although his message to supporters trots out the old “more time with the family” line, one has to think there’s more to it than that (see, for example, this Herald story, and Eileen McNamara’s Globe column from a couple of weeks ago).  Barrios is a talented and ambitious guy, and for him to have taken a cold, hard look at the race and conclude that he should withdraw can’t have been easy.

But it was clearly the right thing to do.  To elaborate a bit on Greg’s post, look at how many birds he kills with a single stone.  First, central casting couldn’t have come up with a better candidate for Middlesex DA than Gerry Leone.  The guy has been second-in-command at the county, state, and federal prosecutors’ offices, and (as I’ve written elsewhere in greater detail) has an impressive record of accomplishment both in straight-ahead prosecution and also in the development and implementation of programs and policies designed to prevent crime and to help government agencies work more efficiently together.  He’s got vision and prosecutorial chops, both of which are necessary for that office.  I didn’t say this before in quite this way, since I hadn’t yet had the chance to sit down with Barrios for an interview, but I’ll say it now: Leone is the right guy for the Middlesex DA job, and I have no doubt that he will serve the people of Middlesex county with distinction.

Second, Barrios prevents further development of what was threatening to become a major embarrassment for the state Democratic party.  Until today, Anthony Galluccio was still the odds-on favorite to win the Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex Senate race despite the increasingly credible allegations that he was drunk when he caused a fairly serious car accident in December of last year.  Drunk driving has been a hot topic lately, what with Melanie’s Law and Lt. Gov. candidate Reed Hillman’s request for a pardon for a pal who was a repeat drunk driver, and if Galluccio were to be charged with drunk driving while still running for Senate, it would put Senate President Travaglini, among others, in a very awkward position.  Now, of course, Galluccio is almost certain to withdraw from the Senate race – he cannot beat the incumbent Barrios, and he can and should focus on his own legal problems.  Galluccio thus vanishes from the front pages, and the problem is solved.

Third, we keep a good Senator in the Senate.  Barrios has done some terrific things as a legislator, the anti-gang bill being the most recent.  We look forward to similarly impressive work from him in the years to come.

Sometimes discretion really is the better part of valor.  Well done, Jarrett.

UPDATE: Gerry Leone has just released the following comments on Barrios’s departure from the race:

Senator Barrios led a vibrant and thoughtful campaign, and he engaged in the dialogue about the very important issue of crime prevention, something I spent my career working on as a senior prosecutor.  I understand and appreciate his very personal decision to step away from this race. Senator Barrios has done many good things for the people of his district and of this state, and I look forward to working with him in the future on important issues of public safety and justice.  For our campaign, there is still plenty of work to be done. The landscape of the race may have changed but I still plan on visiting with citizens, educators, and public safety officials across the county to listen and share my vision and explain how I can make a difference as their District Attorney.

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13 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. The race was better for having Jarrett in it.

    I hope that we will continue to discuss the issues that Jarrett ran on.  Prevention, treatment and diversion for certain offenders and stopping gangs from taking over the streets in the cities. 

    Jarrett will be able to continue his work on these issues in the St. Senate and I think we're all better off for that.

    As the kids say, "It's all good."

  2. I completely agree

    With everything David wrote, and with Mariposa's useful additional note. Now the next question is, what can we do to be constructive and help Jarrett in the coming months. Any supporters out there have any ideas about what his priorities might be for the Senate?

    • His email to supporters

      contains the following: "Moving forward, my priorities are cracking down on domestic violence and identity theft, addressing bullying and violence in schools, and advancing progressive priorities on a variety of other issues."

      More to come, no doubt.

      • Identity Theft

        His identity theft initiative sounds very interesting.  The big idea is that you own your data, not the companies that collect it.

        • The idea's a great one ... but it's not his

          Lets give credit where credit is due ... other people have talked about data ownership before him...

    • Another idea

      Jarrett has a great bill that would rein in the high cost mortgage lenders like Ameriquest and others that continue to gain a foothold in our neighborhoods.  The bill would cover the top mortgage companies and would encourage more responsible lending.  Jarrett is the author of this bill and it passed the Senate 38-0 a couple of years ago.  The time is right for this bill.

  3. Seriously, It Took Guts For Him to Do What he Did.

    I have to respect him for the reasons most of you have given. I will lay off him for a good while now.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
  4. I am glad

    That Senator Barrios had made this decison. Gerry Leone should be the Middlesex DA because of his prior experience. Its the next step for him because its what he has been doing his entire career. Barrios is good as a lesgislator but him running for this office made no sense and I think he finally realized that he had a better shot of continuing to do what he is doing now, than trying something entirely new. If you put his resume and Leone's resume side by side you will see a clear path which had led Leone up to this point and it is clear why he is running for this office. He isn't running for it simply because he wants it, he is running for it so that he can do some of what he is doing now but on a larger scale. If you look at Barrio's resume it wasn't very clear why he was running nor was it made very clear on his website. My hat goes off to Senator Barrios for making this decision and I wish him the best of luck in his re-election campaign. Lets get out there folks and make Gerry Leone's nomination a landslide come September

  5. Just goes to show

    ... that I should not go to work because I miss too much important stuff.

    If Barrios hadn't announced today, I was going to post today (i.e. now) to encourage him to do what he did. I felt comfortable with Leone as a capable DA candidate; I liked Barrios in the legislature; knew that Galluccio was in dire straits; and didn't know the folks who had stepped up to challenge Galluccio.

    Thanks, Jarrett, and keep up the good work.

  6. Countdown on Galluccio

    Has anybody started the poll as to what day he will drop out of the Senate race?

    • I called the Galluccio campaign

      for comment on Barrios's move.  The response: "we'll have to get back to you."  Surprise!

    • Galluch In

      According to the Charlestown Patriot, Galluch is in. Does anyone know the price of the postage for all the checks Barrios is going to have to mail back to all those supporters who gave him dough for the DA's race. He's got to give it back, right? I mean he was the biggest advocate for campaign finance reform when it was hot and trendy and he raised over $120,000 in March 2006 alone for a race he's not in anymore. So kudos when all that dough is given back. Also, kudos when there is acknowledgement of a record here-rep to senator to DA candidate. Along the way, the historic district he represented in the House was carved up into SIX other districts. As a DA candidate, the Senate responsibilities became campaign slogans for the up-coming race. Absent money transferred from DA race to his senate re-election, one on one with somewhat equal expenditures for the senate seat, and problems or not, the Galluch wins. But, wait, can you hear it? It's the on-slaught of the tear jerking explanation of withdrawal coupled with the spin of a wizard to re-focus on the senate...eh, you mean wait until mike capuano leaves? oh well, at least it's entertainment but also somewhat troubling since the public policy that is enacted due to opportunistic whims are appalling and Barrios, through the smoke and mirrors, will now have to rely more on the wizard to appear effective. 

      • what policy is $quot;troubling$quot; exactly?

        The gang bill that was just signed by the Governor seems like a great idea, as others have mentioned on this thread the identity theft and mortgage bills are great ideas (both bills are still alive and ID theft seems like it'll actually happen), the $11 million dollar grant package for community efforts to reduce gang violence that passed last year is fantastic.  I thought the in-state tuition bill was also a very good idea (we all know what happened in the House unfortunately), the anti-bullying bill that looks like might actually happen also seemed like a good idea to me, the cell phone bill of rights would've been amazing had it not be "studied" by the telecomm committee.  He even filed a bill regulating RFID systems (still alive) and a car buyer's bill of rights (still alive). 

        Just what exactly about those policies listed all over his website is "troubling"?  They seem like good progressive public policy to me.

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