Sutter throws hat into the 9th District ring; Flannagan won't

Democratic Primary race shapes up as D.A. vs. D.A. contest

Incumbent and former Norfolk D.A. Keating may face Bristol D.A. Sutter


Bristol County D.A. Sutter (left) to run against Keating in Democratic primary.

The Standard-Times reports that Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter is planning to announce this week that he will take the first step in running for the new Southeastern Massachusetts Congressional district.

Sutter is a Democrat, so while most observers were waiting the name of the first Republican to run against incumbent Keating, it's a somewhat tarnished member of his own party who will try to overcome the power of incumbency.

His interest is generated by the new district lines for the Cape Cod and South Shore Congressional district which now includes part of the city of Fall River.

But Sutter doesn't live in the part of Fall River which is in the newly shaped 9th District. Although legally any resident of Massachusetts can enter a race for the U.S. Congress without residing in the district he or she wants to represent, it is a strong tradition in the Bay State to do so.

Rep. Bill Keating recently moved his legal residence from Quincy, which is no longer a part of the 9th District, to Bourne on the Cape Cod side of the canal.

Sutter's baggage -Two D.A.s with vastly different histories

Flanagan won't run for Congress

This isn’t Fall River mayor Will Flanagan’s first time considering a run for higher office. He previously discussed running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Scott Brown.
   On Monday Flanagan said,  “I’ve made the determination that I will not enter the Congressional race in either the 4th or 9th district,” Flanagan said.
   “My intentions are to continue to serve as the mayor of Fall River. Even though a door has opened for a run, I have chosen not to pass through it.”
   See the Herald-News story here.
While Keating has a record of vigorous law enforcement even going after "Whitey" Bulger, Sutter has been waffling about the murder of 11 women since 1988.

In a story both on this newssite and The Providence Journal Jeff Blanchard reported District Attorney Sutter saying about the two decade old serial murders, "We're working on it, and beyond that, for self-evident reasons, I can't say anything."

Blanchard, a former editor at The Cape Codder, went on to write that maybe it is self-evident to Sutter, but after 24 years with no viable suspects, the only truly self-evident facts are that nine women were found murdered, two bodies were never found, and there has yet to be a public examination of the investigation itself, which, at this point, would seem like the self-evident place to start. Read The Providence Journal story here.

Sutter is a close ally of Cape & Islands DA Michael O'Keefe, himself still the subject of a federal gambling probe here on Cape Cod. Like O'Keefe, Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter is a strong opponent of the law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana as indicated in this previous story where he said, "The message this sends to our teens and young adults is that smoking marijuana is not a big deal, when it is," adding it will "incontrovertibly" lead to more drug usage.

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