Alicia Purdy Talks Mayoral Campaign with Times Union

Oct. 19, 2021 — Albany mayoral candidate Alicia Purdy sat down with Times Union reporter Steve Hughes to speak about her campaign for Mayor of Albany. Purdy, who has been the strongest and most vocal challenger to incumbent mayor Kathy Sheehan, has repeatedly spoken out about the overt suppression of her campaign’s movements by local mainstream media.

According to Purdy:

“This article is better than most I’ve come across pertaining to my campaign, but there are a few points of clarity needed: From the outset, I have campaigned as “The People’s Mayor” because Albany needs a mayor who is a partner with people, who is accessible to people and who can empower people and, regardless of the shortcomings of the incumbent, my campaign has nothing to do with “not being Sheehan” and everything to do with being an effective leader of people and a capable steward of the city’s resources in the capital city of New York State.

“Additionally note this line: “It’s unclear whether her energy is driving sufficient support: Purdy has raised just over $17,000, according to her latest campaign filings.” Here’s what the article didn’t say: The other mayoral challenger raised $19,000 and no one questioned the ‘energy’ behind him, and the incumbent, in the last election donated $385,000 to herself, because she simply couldn’t raise enough support to combat all the negative exposure brought forth. Those issues are significant and as a journalist, I can tell you that every word in an article is intentional and used to frame a narrative from a specific perspective. In spite of that, I was glad the Times Union, even at this very late date, chose to finally feature candidates other than the incumbent.”

“My favorite line in this article is the first one: “Alicia Purdy is running as the Republican candidate for mayor, though it may be a bit tough to tell,” because it hits at the heart of my campaign – putting PEOPLE over politics, and that is a transformative perspective that has nothing to do with a political party affiliation.”

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READ THE FULL ARTICLE, BELOW

ALBANY — Alicia Purdy is running as the Republican candidate for mayor, though it may be a bit tough to tell.

The freelance journalist and radio host has stayed away from certain elements of traditional GOP rhetoric in her campaign material. She introduces herself as “the people’s mayor.” And she won’t talk about national political issues — other than to affirm that she is pro-life — and won’t say which presidential candidate she voted for in 2020.

Instead, in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Purdy is styling herself as a new kind of Republican.

“You got to pick a line, so I’m a Republican — big whoop. I’m not Donald Trump,” she said during an interview at her campaign headquarters. “National politics are really what people associate with Republicans.”

She said that fiscal conservatism was a quality with appeal across party lines. “I’m not going to overtax you and then let the city stay in trash that you have to drive through,” she said. Purdy has made crime and public safety the centerpiece of her campaign against incumbent Mayor Kathy Sheehan; she calls the city “Sheehan’s shantytown shooting gallery.”

“It is the number-one issue in the city of Albany, and she has failed repeatedly,” Purdy said. 

The candidate says she would bolster the city’s police department with more equipment, manpower and investing in intelligence work and technology. That blueprint “is not state-of-the-art, it’s not cutting-edge. There are ways to address safety and policing in Albany that does allow civilians to have a role.” (In response, Sheehan pointed to the increase in the police department’s budget under her watch and a reduction in shootings and homicides this year from historic levels seen in 2020.)

Alicia Purdy is running as the Republican candidate for mayor, though it may be a bit tough to tell.

~Steve Hughes, The times union

Purdy, 43, was born in Greenville. Her father, Ernest Fink, is a pastor and runs a church on Central Avenue in the city. She graduated from Geneva College in 1999 with a degree in broadcasting. She has master’s degree in journalism. She found work as a reporter for Cuyler News Service, a small outfit that covered the state Capitol. It was there that Purdy realized she wanted to run for office.

She tried running for city school board but didn’t get far. Albany County GOP Chairman Randy Bashwinger said Purdy first contacted him last year looking to challenge County Executive Dan McCoy, who isn’t up for re-election this year. After conversations with her husband and Bashwinger, Purdy instead chose to run for mayor in a city that is so overwhelmingly Democratic that no Republican has won a mayoral election there since 1917.

Purdy says she is undeterred. “I’ve gone to the BLM marches, I’ve cleaned up trash on Grand and Madison; I’m everywhere out there, no matter what the response is — because party lines only mean something when you’re looking at the ballot,” she said.

It’s unclear whether her energy is driving sufficient support: Purdy has raised just over $17,000, according to her latest campaign filings.

Over the summer, Purdy released a nine-part platform, dubbed Operation TRANSFORM, that includes lowering taxes, reducing blight, and renovating city facilities. But most of it traces back to cracking down on crime, cleaning up the city’s streets … and not being Sheehan.

Bashwinger said Purdy has run on a message of using the city to assist residents.

“She’s wants to be with you and help — I think that’s what’s really key,” he said. “ … that’s going to attract a lot of people that wouldn’t normally vote for a Republican, especially in the city of Albany.”

Published by Alicia Purdy

Alicia Purdy is an independent, multi-media journalist with an M.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Broadcasting. Learn more at: www.PurdyAlicia.com.

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