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Tito Jackson endorses Rachael Rollins for Suffolk DA

Rachael Rollins.
Rachael Rollins. (Diana Levine)

Former Boston city councilor and mayoral candidate Tito Jackson threw his support behind Suffolk district attorney candidate Rachael Rollins Thursday, calling her a “friend” and touting her managerial experience and focus on criminal justice reform.

“She understands that over-policing, over-sentencing, and over-incarceration have not made us safer,” Jackson said in an e-mail sent by Rollins’s campaign. “Rachael will prioritize true public safety by ending the cycle of violence.”

Rollins, one of six candidates in the hotly contested race, is a former assistant district attorney and assistant US attorney who was legal counsel for Massport and the MBTA. Jackson ran for mayor against Martin J. Walsh last year and is now chief executive of Verdant Medical, a medical marijuana group.

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Jackson’s message emphasized the importance of the district attorney’s position for criminal justice reform and called on voters to support Rollins because, he said, she’ll make the “progressive difference” the area needs.

“I know how important this race is because I came up in a neighborhood where my black and brown peers were often hassled, seldom helped, and too many times seriously harmed by the criminal justice system,” he said.

Rollins will face four Democrats in the Sept. 4 primary : former Suffolk assistant district Linda Champion; Shannon McAuliffe, former director of Roca, a group that works with at-risk youth; state Representative Evandro Carvalho; and Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Greg Henning. The sixth candidate, Michael Maloney, is running as an independent.

At a June debate, the five Democratic candidates sought to prove their liberal chops to a packed Hibernian Hall in Roxbury. Over the course of the evening, each focused on issues of criminal justice reform including incarceration rates, mandatory minimum sentences, and the bail system.


Jamie Halper can be reached at jamie.halper@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @jamiedhalper.

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