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Buoniconti, Mastroianni gather endorsements

Date: 9/28/2010

Sept. 27, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD Sept. 21 proved to be a day of endorsements in the race between State Sen. Stephen Buoniconti and attorney Mark Mastroianni for district attorney.

And Mastroianni said something that hadn't been said before in any of the forums and debates prior to the recent primary: Buoniconti is not qualified to be district attorney.

Earlier in the day, Sheriff Michael Ashe gave his endorsement to Buoniconti and in a statement released to the media Ashe said, "I have been sheriff of this county long enough to know that the job of district attorney is not only to be chief prosecutor, but also to be the manager, if you will, of the law enforcement and community crime-fighting team. Far from being irrelevant to the work of district attorney, I believe that Steve's experience as an elected community leader will be right at the heart of his success.

"Fighting crime is about the courtroom, but it is also about leadership and partnership in the community that surrounds the courtroom. Steve's service as a legislator gives him invaluable experience in shaping sound criminal justice policy and in building community partnerships. He is someone whose track record, both as an experienced prosecutor and as a hardworking, able elected community leader, makes him ready to 'hit the ground running' in all aspects of the district attorney's role. He is someone whose partner I would be proud to be on the public safety team; he's a perfect fit for a tough, complex job," Ashe continued.

Later that day at the Hampden County Hall of Justice, over 40 attorneys, former assistant district attorneys and members of law enforcement lined up on the steps behind Mastroianni.

Among those gathered to show their support was former U.S. Attorney John Pucci, who said, "I've know Mark Mastroianni for 15 years from both sides of the bench and his reputation in federal court is unparalleled."

Mastroianni thanked those gathered for their support and said, "that means something to me and that should mean something to the residents of Hampden County."

He added the support was "simply amazing."

Mastroianni said that because of Buoniconti's "lack of experience, [that] makes him unqualified" to be district attorney.

Buoniconti had five years experience as an assistant district attorney before he was elected to the Legislature.

Mastroianni said a district attorney must be a teacher to his or her assistant district attorneys and noted some of the most experienced assistants that have specialized murder and narcotic cases are close to retirement and the new district attorney must have the trial experience to train new assistants.

"That's why the next district attorney must have experience," he explained.

Those expressing an endorsement of Mastroianni included John Pucci, Andrew Hosmer, Theresa Finnegan, Patricia Campagnari, Thomas Kokonowski, James Bregianes, Kevin Corridan, Frank Flannery, Laura Sullivan, Jacquelyn Lee-Washington, Martha Gumbiner, Michele Rooke, Lynn Galletly, Kevin Murphy, Michael Julian, Paul Barry, Daniel Shea, John Flahive, Anthony Guardione, James Wodarski, Gerald Begley, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Joseph Bernard, Joan O'Brien, Michael Hickson, Bryan Gustafson, Bruce Patryn, Corrine Rock, Michael Kogut, Thomas O'Connor, Timothy Rogers, Daniel Bergin, Meghan Sullivan, Michael Kallock, Charles Dolan, William Walsh, Jr., Mickey Harris, George Kelly, Stephen Ferrarone, Michael O. Shea and Ted McCarthy.

Later last week current assistant district attorney and former candidate James Goodhines also announced his support for Mastroianni.

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