MICHAEL JOHNSON/Livingston County News
Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey and his family at the press conference in York Tuesday afternoon.
District Attorney race crosses party lines
At a campaign launching ceremony held in the parking lot of the York Town Hall Tuesday afternoon, Livingston County District Attorney Greg McCaffrey announced his intention to run in the November election, seeking the district attorney office for a full four year term.
McCaffrey has held the district attorney post for five weeks, following his May 18 appointment by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Accompanied by his wife Ruth, twin sons Cameron and Kellen and youngest son Grady, McCaffrey was introduced by York Town Supervisor Gerald Deming.
McCaffrey said he was “forever grateful for the opportunity” given him by the governor’s appointment. He advised that, after speaking with officials from Albany, he knows his appointment was given based upon merit, experience and qualifications.
“I am very proud to serve the citizens of Livingston County,” McCaffrey said.
McCaffrey explained that he selected this location in York because in sight were the nursery school where he played as a child, the Little League field where he played as a youth, and the York Fire Department “where the brave serve every day and where the people of York meet.” McCaffrey is “proud to be a York grad.”
The cornerstones of his campaign for district attorney will be integrity, experience and independence, McCaffrey said. He promised, as district attorney, “to protect the community and be honest and open to the public.”
McCaffrey “looks forward to matching my experience with whoever I run against in November.”
“I spent nearly five years in the Monroe County District Attorney’s office and I feel I am the best candidate based on the number of felony cases and trials I have done. I welcome the opportunity to match my qualifications against each and every one of my opponents,” he offered.
McCaffrey acknowledged his most recent six years with the Jones & Skivington firm, under the leadership of the late J. Michael Jones, and the criminal defense work he engaged there.
Referring to his appointee status, McCaffrey asserted that he first and foremost thinks of himself, “not as a Democratic district attorney, but as the Livingston County district attorney — and each and every member of this community will get my respect and deserves my service.”
“I intend to run a fair, clean campaign for a nonpartisan office,” he continued. “I intend to work with everybody.”
McCaffrey thanked his parents, John and Ronnie McCaffrey “for raising me what I perceive as the right way — and I will never do anything to not make them proud.”
“I look forward to a spirited campaign,” he stated, then offered to answer questions.
Asked to speak of the felony cases he prosecuted in Monroe County, McCaffrey mentioned his work in the felony DWI bureau, county court bureau for violent felonies including burglary offenses, and his final year prosecuting offenses of the level of shootings and stabbings.
Asked to speak of his responsibility as district attorney verses his campaign, McCaffrey said, “My sole job is public safety. Crime doesn’t sleep. The public deserves my full attention, so I will be working on a full time basis running the office from day to day. My candidacy is secondary. I am the district attorney. I will be campaigning to stay the district attorney, but everything that happens in my office is still my responsibility.”
McCaffrey was asked to explain how he is addressing his own, earlier criticisms of his predecessors in the office “over-indicting” cases.
McCaffrey answered that he personally reviews each felony case, has made efforts to establish a good working relationship with each county law enforcement agency, and that he prefers to work the cases “sooner rather than later” and so not find himself in the position of having to rescue a case with insufficient evidence.