Emily De Vito
Updated: January 20, 2020 11:11 PM
Created: January 20, 2020 10:44 PM
Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced he is running for re-election in 2020. It would be his fifth term in office.
Soares was first elected in 2004 winning a democratic primary against his boss, Albany County District Attorney Paul Clyne. Soares ran unopposed in the last two general elections.
He said now more than ever he finds similarities between the first time he ran and now. He said back in 2004 he was running for Rockefeller reform.
"I find myself feeling the same way now when I think about the new reforms,” said Soares referring to the criminal justice reform laws that went into place on Jan. 1. “The opportunity to come on in to implement some of these reforms and also have the opportunity to work on eliminating the collateral consequences of the reform.”
Over the past 16 years, Soares said his office has really focused on victims. He also said they managed to reduce the jail population by almost two-thirds. Soares said his office also had many firsts in the state including being the first to decline to prosecute low level marijuana offenses.
“Most recently it’s raise the age,” explained Soares. “Where the state has made it now a family court offense for 16 and 17 year olds we've expanded on that to include 18 to 24 years old attempting to give people a second chance. So this new term again it will be about tough on crime and protecting communities and it will also be about exploring further reforms.”
When asked what changes he still wants his office to work on he said crime prevention. This past summer his office created the “Court Vision Academy.” It was a program to keep children and teens in the West Hill neighborhood of Albany busy on Friday and Saturday nights. It aims to keep them away from crime. Soares said he would like to expand on that.
"That's an area we're continuing to expand beyond just one area in the city,” said Soares. “There's South End communities in Albany that need a lot as well as North Albany.”
So far Soares is running unopposed.
"Albany is a town that is stocked in certain traditions, but Albany also recognizes hard work and they value hard work,” said Soares. “The thing about doing hard work is that you can always rest on your record of achievement and I don't worry about others coming along and challenging me."
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