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Marlon Anderson Enters Albany Mayoral Race

Marlon Anderson being interviewed outside the now-defunct Our Lady of Angels Church at Central & Robin Streets in Albany.
Jesse King
Marlon Anderson takes questions outside the now-defunct Our Lady of Angels Church at Central & Robin Streets in Albany.

After his last two efforts fell well short, Marlon Anderson has entered the race for Albany mayor.

The longtime Albany advocate and activist announced his candidacy Saturday afternoon at the corner of Central Avenue and Robin Street, less than half a block away from the scene of the previous weekend's shooting that left four injured and a pregnant woman dead.

Anderson says with over 100 shootings in 2020, the current administration is sitting on its hands.

"Have they put forth any legislation to address it? Have they put forth any strong police presence or anything like that in the community? No! What they've done is what they always do politics as usual. They put together committees and task force to talk about the issue and make recommendations about the issue, but they haven't done anything. And that is what has been the hallmark of the current administration.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, a Democrat, is seeking a third four-year term.

Anderson pointed to Amazon recently opening a retail outlet in Guilderland as an example of businesses shunning Albany for the suburbs.

"In the city of Albany if you're a man right now, and you need to purchase a pair of shoes, not sneakers, not boots, a regular pair of shoes for you to go to work in a business. You can't purchase one. There's not a men's store of any renown in the city limits."

Anderson called for "fast-track development" of Albany's 2030 plan, to shore up the city's business needs.

Credit Tom Wall
WAMC and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund hosted a mayoral forum at The Linda on July 2, 2013 bringing together five candidates for office, including Kathy Sheehan and Marlon Anderson.

Anderson says he intends to participate in the Democratic primary, alongside previously declared candidates Black Lives Matter activist Lukee Forbes and Reverend Valerie Faust of Living Word Tabernacle, who also ran for mayor in 2009 and 2013.

IndependentGreg Aidalaof the city's West Hill neighborhood plans to challenge the winner of that primary in November.

"Clearly, those candidates have no record of service in the community. Prior to this year, where were they on the issues? Invisible.”

Explaining he "has a life, like everyone else," Anderson doesn't doesn’t think his flamboyant presence on social media should deter voters.

"I like to have a drink now and then, I like to have a good food now and then I like beautiful women, you know, but that has nothing to do with me being a leader."

Anderson claims this is his last run for political office.

"Whatever happens, this is going to be my last foray into Albany politics. Because as you know, and I've been a strong voice in this city for a very long time now, I've done everything I can to work towards the betterment of this city. And unfortunately, as the saying goes, 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.'"

Anderson says he has no intention of becoming a "perennial candidate."

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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