In an election cycle that has been decidedly dire for Republicans up and down in Massachusetts, longtime Plymouth County prosecutor Tim Cruz weathered the storm and was once again firmly re-elected to another term.
Cruz has been Plymouth County DA since 2001 and after his new term will be the only Republican DA in the Commonwealth.
Cruz, during a recent appearance on WBSM south coast tonight, reflected on why he thinks he is one of the few Republican election survivors of this cycle.
“I think we really worked hard, like we always do,” Cruz said. “We work hard at work. We work hard on politics, spreading the word about what we’re doing here and talking about all the positive changes we’ve made here in our county to make our county better and stronger. To make sure people understand that our job is to preserve, promote and protect the public safety of Plymouth County.
Cruz easily avoided the challenge of a formidable adversary, civil rights lawyer and former prosecutor Rahsaan Hall, who presented a radically different vision of criminal justice than that of Cruz.
Cruz said he hadn’t received any concession calls — or correspondence — from his Democratic opponent since election night.
With another four-year term, Cruz said he looks forward to continuing the work his office is doing not only in the courtroom, but in the community as well.
Throughout his campaign, Cruz has touted a strong catalog of community outreach programs focused on crime prevention, such as counseling for at-risk youth, and a task force identifying the supply of harmful substances such as opioids.
Longtime Cruz also continues to be held in high regard by his counterparts across the Commonwealth and across the country. The Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, at its monthly meeting in November, asked Cruz to become its president for the fourth time. He succeeds Bristol County DA Tom Quinn for the job. Cruz also serves on the committee and board of the National District Attorneys Association.
Cruz said he and the other 10 Commonwealth DAs will put in place five or six legislative priorities to put pressure on Beacon Hill in the next session. Those priorities will likely include Gov. Charlie Baker’s “dangerousness” bill that would expand the list of crimes for which a prosecutor can request a hearing to hold a defendant without bail.
Cruz cited as one of the criteria for his success and that of other DAs the declining rate of incarceration and crime in Plymouth County and throughout the Commonwealth. According to Cruz, about 80 people are serving time at the Plymouth County Reformatory, and Massachusetts has the lowest incarceration rate per population.
“I think what it shows you is that we’ve been smarter when it comes to crime,” Cruz said. “We’ve been smarter trying to help people. We’re smarter trying to help guys get back into the community. But also, in the middle, we have to keep holding people accountable. People who hurt other people .”
“When you put this whole package together and can adapt it to your county, your community and the Commonwealth, great things can happen,” Cruz said. “I think that’s what happened in Plymouth County, and in a lot of our neighboring counties the numbers are very similar.”
Listen to District Attorney Tim Cruz’s interview with Chris McCarthy and Marcus Ferro on WBSM’s SouthCoast Tonight.