Bristol County DA Sutter wants to change the atmosphere in DC

Sutter announces Congressional exploratory committee

To oppose incumbent from his own party, O'Leary may follow

By Matthew Nadler, Community Editor,

Samuel Sutter. Photo courtesy Facebook.

or Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, the tipping point in his decision to run for Congress came while watching C-Span.

It was during the battle in Washington over raising the debt ceiling during the summer. Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson were on the air. The two had chaired a commission to examine solutions to the nation's debt problem and created a plan to do just that. Now, on TV, the pair, two men of differing political persuasions, were expressing their dismay at the inability of the nation's representatives to come to an agreement."There is a need for change in both the approach and atmosphere," in Washington, Sutter said during an interview at the Water Street Cafe in Plymouth. Almost all Americans agree with that sentiment, he added.

Thursday, Sutter announced the formation of an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for his run. He said he will make a formal announcement next month.

It is highly unusual and often self-defeating for a fellow member of the same political party, to try to unseat an noncombatant, in this case, fellow former District Attorney and Democrat Bill Keating.

Will C. Samuel Sutter succeed where Frank Bellotti failed?The most memorable time here in the Bay State was in 1964 fellow Democrat Lieutenant Governor Francis X. Bellotti ran against a sitting Democrat Governor Endicott Peabody. Neither men ever won another election, and their inter-party fight led to Republican candidate John Volpe taking over the as Governor.

Ironically, Belloti's first try for office was for Bill Keating's former job as Norfolk Coumty District Attorney.

Why Sutter wants to run against a f ellow Democrat

Mr. Sutter compared the feeling to when he ran for district attorney and was faced with problems many thought were unsolvable. There seems to be an inability to solve or make progress on the issues," the Fall River resident said, citing the the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, immigration and rising government health care costs as examples.

When asked for his views on more local issues, Sutter declined to comment.The economy though was the first priority, Sutter said. “We may have started to crawl our way out of the recession, but we still have major economic problems.” When asked for his views on more local issues, Sutter declined to comment.

Asked how, as a freshman congressman, and possibly part of the minority, he could get anything accomplished, he noted a column written in the New Bedford Standard Times when he first became district attorney. The writer, he said, called the problems of Bristol County intractable, noting rise in gangs, shootings and the office's poor success rate in solving homicides.  Now, Sutter said, his office has made "huge progress." The gang problem is under control and the rate for solving homicides has risen from 50 percent to 85 percent, he said.

Sutter, who has served as Bristol County DA since 2005, emphasized his roots  in Cape Cod and in Plymouth. He moved to the Cape from Connecticut with his family in 1976 until he moved to Bristol County in 1988. Even then, his law practice remained on the Cape from 1984 until he went to work for the Bristol County DA's office in 1991. Much of his time in private practice was spent at the Plymouth and Wareham district courts, he noted.

What about his opponent? Beware of Sutter, he has a lean and hungry look

With friends like Delahunt and O'Leary, Congressman Keating doesn't need enemies.As for his likely opponent, Rep. Bill Keating, Sutter declined to draw any specific contrasts between them, saying there would be plenty of time for that. He did, however, argue that Keating, who currently represents Cape Cod, the South Shore and other parts of what will now be the Ninth Congressional District should not be considered an incumbent.  "He's not an incumbent in Wareham or Fall River," Sutter said.  

Keating, who moved from Sharon to Quincy in order to run in what was the 10th congressional district, has now relocated to his long-time summer home on Bourne on Cape Cod, a town which is both in his present 10th district and the newly created 9th Coastal District which stretches from below Quincy to Provincetown, and Islands and Fall River, Sutter's present home.

The new district replaces such Norfolk County strongholds of Keating’s like Quincy and Weymouth with Bristol County cities like New Bedford and part of Fall River, but not the part Sutter presently lives in.

Here comes O'Leary and the ghost of Bill Delahunt

Those were the days my friend...

But boy, did they sure end. Just last year Bill Delahunt was ready to give Bill Keating the shirt (and tie) off his back, but now it's more like a knife stab as a grimacing Rob O'Leary smirks on right. Paul Rifkin photo.
Besides Sutter and Keating, former State Senator Rob O’Leary, who lost the primary to Keating in 2010, is reportedly considering another run as is Cape Cod environmentalist Peter White announced he will enter the race as an independent.

When asked why he was considering a run against Keating, O'Leary is reported to have said, "Well, Sam Sutter is doing it."

Perhaps the strangest of all is that Congressman Bill Keating's predecessor, William Delahunt, who retired after nine terms in congress when his handling of an old murder case came under question, was seen last week having lunch with Sam Sutter.

Delahunt now runs a PR firm which is using his Washington career to help the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe get their casino.

With friends like Delahunt and O'Leary, Keating doesn't need enemies. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on