Three Republicans run for DA

Carey is the only candidate to respond to Times questions.

East Sandwich attorney John Carey seeks the position of Cape and Islands District Attorney. — Courtesy Carey Campaign

Three Republicans are running for Cape and Islands District Attorney, a position being vacated by longtime Republican DA Michael O’Keefe. All three candidates, Melissa Alden, John Carey, and Dan Higgins, live on the Cape. Only one of the three, Carey, returned emailed questions. On Tuesday, in a text message to The Times, Higgins wrote, “We will get those to you ASAP today. Thought we had already replied.”

The Times hasn’t received Higgins’ reponses. Higgins, who works in O’Keefe’s office as an assistant DA, hasn’t responded to subsequent voice messages on the subject.

Alden didn’t reply to office phone and cell phone inquiries about questions posed by The Times via email.

Rob Galibois is the lone candidate on the Democratic ballot, and will be asked questions ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

Carey, 54, a Navy and Navy Reserve veteran, has been practicing law for 23 years. Among other honors, he wrote, he received a Bronze Star for service in Iraq. He retired as a captain, he wrote. Carey grew up in Charlestown and Medford. He practices both criminal and civil law. He’s been married 13 years to his wife, Grace, and has two boys, ages 10 and 11. Carey has a bachelor of science in marine engineering from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and went to law school at New England Law. Carey said he has defended clients against charges of assault and battery, assault to kill, rape, and murder, among other offenses. He wrote that for elderly clients, he frequently does pro bono work. 

Asked who he counts as a hero in the world of law or law enforcement, Carey cited a Cape police officer killed in the line of duty: “Sean Gannon — a young man who gave his life in the line of duty. His tragic passing touched everyone, and having a brother who is a K9 police officer in Boston, it made an indelible impression on me.” 

Carey said the most pressing issue for law enforcement, aside from drug crimes and the housing crisis, is “communication between the police departments and the district attorney’s office.”

Carey said he has met with police on the Vineyard and listened to their concerns. “Should I be elected DA, my team and I would work closely with the police, coordinate the prosecution of cases, and have open and regular lines of communication to ensure that these crimes are properly prosecuted, and more importantly that the DA’s office and the police departments are working together to keep the people of the Cape and Islands [safe].”

Carey indicated he would like to see stiffer penalties for drug crimes. “The drug crimes, the use of minimum mandatory sentencing was a great tool in the prosecution of these cases, and needs to be put back into the legislation,” he wrote. 

Carey said he believes he could do a better job at prosecuting police misconduct than O’Keefe’s office: “I am not here to disparage the previous DA, but it is time for a change. It is time for transparency and following procedure. If there are issues that need to be addressed — I will address them. It is hard to imagine that one of my opponents that works in the DA’s office currently would be able to effect needed changes if elected to DA, if he cannot already do so.”

When asked if he views the Jan. 6 criminal investigations and prosecutions as proceeding in a lawful manner, or if there was anything amiss in steps to hold people accountable, Carey wrote, 

“The Janu. 6 matter has been politicized. Currently there are outstanding investigations that have not completed or even started. I will wait until all the facts from both sides of the aisle have been presented. There is culpability for the events that occurred, and there should be consequences for accountability once it has been irrefutably attributed.”