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Albany County Legislator Sam Fein Will Try For State Assembly Again

Sam Fein addressed supporters Tuesday in Albany's South End neighborhood.
Dave Lucas
Sam Fein addressed supporters Tuesday in Albany's South End neighborhood.

Albany County Legislator Sam Fein has launched a second bid for the New York State Assembly seat held by Democrat John McDonald. He addressed supporters today in Albany's South End neighborhood.

"I'm running, for New York State Assembly, to represent the 108th district,” exclaimed Fein, from the county’s sixth legislative district, who grew up in Massachusetts and moved to the Capital Region in 2008. The 2012 Union College grad was elected to the Albany County Legislature in 2015 and is in his second four-year term. He lost to McDonald in 2020 in the Democratic primary and on the Working Families Party line in the general election.

Fein says he would be a voice for every New Yorker who is barely getting by.

"We will work to make sure that the state takes a strong role in funding the construction and renovation of affordable housing throughout our communities. We want to tear down 787 and replace it with whatever the community wants. Whether that's a park, whether that's housing or whether that's something else. We can tear down the highway that's been polluting our community for decades and reclaim access to one of our most beautiful natural resources here, the Hudson River."

Fein says housing is too expensive and jobs too hard to find, as people grapple with structural racism and the global climate crisis. He says his Assembly campaign by no means reflects on his work as a county legislator.

"I love my job in the county legislature. It's one of the most fulfilling things because I know I'm making a difference in fighting to make a difference for the people I represent. And I see a role in the Assembly as a way that I can further that goal and further make a difference. There's so much, so much that we can do in the Assembly and our state government needs to be there be, there for us to make our society a more equal and better place for everyone."

McDonald says he welcomes the rematch, saying he’ll run on his record, citing supporting education, affordable housing, blight removal and addressing climate change.

In 2022, the former Cohoes mayor would be going for a sixth term in the 108th, which currently includes parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties, and whose fate is in the hands of an independent redistricting commission.

"Today I think they're actually holding hearings down in the Bronx and Brooklyn. They've had two or three already. Those hearings are for the public to provide input. They're done virtually so people don't need to worry about traveling to them but they can participate. The commission then will probably be receiving the numbers in August or September from the federal government and then they will set about their work. Other than that, I don't have anything else to offer because it's an Independent Redistricting Commission. It is out of the hands of the legislature."

McDonald beat Fein in the 2020 race with 58 percent of the vote to 41 percent.

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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