Arroyo and Hayden debate for district attorney as controversy swirls

By Chris Tanaka, WBZ-TV

BOSTON – Boston Councilor Carlos Arroyo continues to fend off attacks in his run for Suffolk County District Attorney, and he’s doing so with a diminishing stable of endorsements. On a day Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley all pulled their endorsementsArroyo debated interim Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan on Wednesday night.

“I’m feeling resilient. I think part of the thing here is that voters understand that this decision was always going to come down to them,” said Arroyo after the debate.

Arroyo is putting the success of his campaign squarely on two things: those voters and the potential release of police files on the sexual assault allegations made against him in 2005 and 2007.

“My hope is that I have a file to give them so we move forward with incontrovertible facts and not my word or somebody else’s word,” he said.

A hearing is scheduled for 2 pm Thursday. Arroyo said he hopes the files will be released, and he vowed to share them with the public.

Hayden, who declined to speak afterward, pressed the attack during the debate, moderated by WBZ-TV’s John Keller.

“There’s no way he didn’t know about these allegations. It’s simply indisputable at this point,” Hayden said.

Despite the nearly eight minutes spent on the allegations to start the debate, Arroyo won over the Mattapan audience at times, vowing to do away with sentencing minimums and calling for greater transparency in policing.

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For his part, Hayden leaned into his experience and said it would be up to voters to decide if Arroyo’s past should be a factor in their decisions.

Those decisions will come on primary day, September 6.

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