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Capital Region News

After Losing Democratic Primary, Rev. Valerie Faust Launching Write-In Campaign For Albany Mayor

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Albany mayoral candidate Valerie Faust, who unsuccessfully challenged Mayor Kathy Sheehan in last month’s Democratic primary, has decided to continue her campaign as a write-in candidate.

Reverend Valerie Faust of Living Word Tabernacle would like to be the Capital City's first Black mayor. 2021 marks her third run. In June's Democratic primary she was bested by second-term incumbent Kathy Sheehan, who took about 61 percent of the vote to Faust’s 35 percent after a muted campaign.

In her first interview since announcing that she was getting back into the field as a write-in candidate, Faust tells WAMC she was moved by election-day calls from constituents to press on.   "… that shows me even more so that I really need to give it another try. Even if it's by write-in.”

Faust joins Independent candidate Greg Aidala and Republican nominee Alicia Purdy in the November general election. She says at one point she did consider supporting one or the other.

“I thought about that, because like I said, I'm gonna vote anyway. But then Alicia, is, is Republican and Greg is, I guess, independent, or whatever. But I'm not going to waste my vote. So I would be, I would do that I would, would support one of them. But at this point, with my new energy in my heart and mind and soul to run, so I will be supporting myself at this time.”

Faust says her decision to run came after three days of introspection.

"I sat down to talk with some people. But I also believe that our next four years will be hellish, if I can say that, because a leopard can't change its spots... so I just felt that, look, you need to take it to the end. And when, when it's all over, you will have a good conscience, about fighting for the rights of your community, your city. And for the changes we all need to see.”

Faust says she is forging ahead, looking for a new campaign manager, exploring avenues of fundraising and reflecting on “campaign mistakes that were made before.”

“I'm going to run it like, just like it's the primary again, I'm just going to engage people go after people, and get them to believe in the possibility of a write-in winning.”

When she first announced her candidacy in January, Faust said Sheehan can be defeated, if only voters would "wake up" and give someone else a chance.

Faust said the need to drastically change Albany has never been more urgent. Above drugs, mental health and alcoholism, she said sees public safety as the most urgent issue.

“We have seen increase in crime, not only in gun violence. But you know, I was looking at some stats, an  increase in rapes and assaults. It's across the board type of criminal activity going on. And we can't tolerate that anymore.”

Faust noted there are issues she prioritizes above the Skyway, the Port of Albany and the arts in the city.

"Before we get to those things, it's like, let's give people some decent housing, let's get people affordable housing. Let's deal with the boarded up houses, the vacant property, let's deal with young entrepreneurs trying to start a business in the city. And there's so many red tape issues that block and stop them. Let's talk about the human life issues that needs to be taken care of, before we can even talk about, you know, a Palace Theatre or the Port of Albany business that's coming with the wind turbines."

For now, Faust is running on faith and a firm belief that Albany is a city in need of change.

Democratic hopeful Marlon Anderson, who did not appear on the June primary ballot but vowed to press on as a write-in, has suspended his campaign.

 

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