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Alicia Purdy Seeks GOP Nod For Albany Mayor

Alicia Purdy
Dave Lucas

A Christian blogger and social media personality has entered the race for Albany mayor.

With the Empire State Plaza as backdrop, Alicia Purdy said she’ll seek the Republican nod in a bid to challenge second-term Democratic Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

"I will not be the queen of Albany," she said. "I'm the team captain of Albany. There's a big difference. What a mayor is here to do is empower the people, because we're only as strong as our weakest team member. And that's where we're gonna begin."

Purdy says she was moved to run by poverty, racism, high taxes and shootings plaguing the city.

"I have felt helpless, enraged, fearful, perplexed about what is going on in the capital city of Albany, which was once the crowning jewel of our state," Purdy said. "We're filled with history, diversity, culture. And now we've become an economic shantytown of crime and crack. And I think we're all aware of that. So as a resident of the city of Albany, I'm done. That's why I'm stepping up. I don't want to watch any more helplessly from inside of my house like we all are doing. wishing that somebody would step up. Hi, I'm here. I'm stepping up today. We are not Rapunzel, waiting in the tower to be rescued. I really believe that we the people have the power to rescue ourselves and that's why I'm here.”

It didn’t take long for those comments to strike a nerve. The Albany County Democratic Party posted about it within hours of Purdy’s kickoff.

Purdy has blogged critically about social issues like abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

"They have nothing to do with running the city of Albany, those are federal issues…I'm not here to change abortion laws, I'm not here to change homosexual marriage," she said. "Those are not citywide issues. Those are issues at the federal level."

Purdy says although she is seeking the GOP nod, she’s open to working with residents of all races, classes and political affiliations. Mayor Sheehan's campaign did not reply to a request for comment.

Purdy becomes the sixth candidate in the race. Sheehan, Black Lives Matter activist Luke Forbes, community advocate Marlon Anderson, and Reverend Valerie Faust of Living World Tabernacle say they are running in the Democratic Primary. Local actor and comedian Greg Aidala is running as an Independent.

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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