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Soares Wins Albany County DA Primary

Albany County DA David Soares addresses reporters outside his downtown Albany office.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Albany County DA David Soares addresses reporters outside his downtown Albany office.

Incumbent David Soares is officially on his way to a fifth term after winning the Democratic primary for Albany County District Attorney.
Soares held the lead since the June 23rd primary, and after more than 21,000 absentee ballots were counted, is now on his way to a another four-year term. He says campaigning through the pandemic and during social unrest sharpened his views on the co-existence of law enforcement, the criminal justice system and community.

"This is a moment where I think we'll define our generation. And it's about us making sure we're doing everything we can be to be more transparent. To provide people information so they understand how this system works, but also to make sure that there are more investments being made outside of this institution and moreso in community. The reality is if you wanna know what Albany County is gonna look like in terms of public safety in five years, ask yourself just how much we're investing in 10-year olds today."

Matt Toporowski
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Matt Toporowski

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and the Working Families Party supported challenger Matt Toporowski. Soares says his office is unaffected by those endorsements and relationship with the mayor will not change.

"What I've done for the last 16 years as district attorney and five years before that as an assistant district attorney, is fight for victims of crime and also fight to ensure that we improve our system to make it more fair and just. And that's what I will continue to do regardless of who provided endorsements for other folks in this race."

Soares vowed to "continue to protect the people of this community” including the city of Albany.

"The reason why you have this level of unrest in the city of Albany is a reflection of the chasm of distrust between law enforcement and the community. And we've gotta start working on that every single day."

Toporowski conceded the race in a tweet and separate statement Tuesday evening and won’t campaign despite retaining the Working Families Party line in November.

"You know really at this point we know that it's really not feasible to just go forward on that Working Families line in a countywide race in such a Democratic stronghold as Albany County, and so at this point we're really suspending the campaign."

Toporowski said he is proud of the issues he raised while campaigning, grateful for the support he received, and has gone back at working as an attorney.

"Definitely hoping to take on more cases that I think have more of a social impact or civil rights impact as a practicing lawyer. I'm certainly going to stay involved with the local grassroots organizations that supported my campaign, Citizens Action, the Working Families Party, and helping build the base of progressive support here for future campaigns, issue-based campaigns here in Albany."

Toporowski congratulates Soares and hopes his challenge didn't go unnoticed. Soares has a message for Toporowski's supporters:

"I certainly hope that over the course of the next four years we will earn the privilege and the honor of having them vote for us."

There is no Republican running for D.A. in November.

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