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Hudson Valley News

Poughkeepsie Mayoral Candidate Joash Ward: We Are A City Of Neighbors

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Joash Ward

The Poughkeepsie mayoral race pits first-term Republican incumbent Rob Rolison against Democrat Joash Ward. Ward, a political newcomer, has been knocking on doors for a year, on a mission to educate residents about the function of local government. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne sat down with Ward and talked about the race.

Ward was raised in public housing on the North side of Poughkeepsie. At 16, he graduated from Poughkeepsie High School as the youngest valedictorian of any public high school in the U.S. in 2012. He then graduated from Syracuse University with honors at age 19. This past January, at age 23, Ward graduated with honors from the law school at King’s College London.

Ward has been hearing predominantly about a few issues.

The Poughkeepsie City School District faced a number of issues over the past few years, from inside the administration to low graduation rates. The district began this school year with a new superintendent, and hopes to change the trajectory.

Ward believes there is an untapped niche in Poughkeepsie.

Poughkeepsie’s last Democratic mayor was Nancy Cozean in 2008

He says representation doesn’t look like the city.

Ward paints Poughkeepsie as a tale of two cities, north and south, with middle-class and above on the south side.

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