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Politics & Government

Mayor Ben Walsh Officially Announces Reelection Bid, Receives Independence Party Backing

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Scott Willis
/
WAER News

Mayor Ben Walsh is officially in the race to keep his seat … and he has a clearer path to get on the ballot.  Walsh announced the backing of a political party that he says allows him to avoid partisanship and gridlock.

"I am happy to announced that we have received the endorsement of the Independence Party of New York.  In the endorsement, the party specifically cited my ability to work across the political spectrum to get things done."

He’ll need to collect signatures to get on the ballot, though the number needed could be reduced with pending state legislation.  Walsh says his ability to collaborate across party lines, and with federal, state and local stakeholders, has led to progress, even with the pandemic. 

"I talked about the pandemic, the fact that we've weathered it together.  And we see light at the end of the tunnel.  We've taken care of our most vulnerable through financial counseling, eviction prevention, veterans services, and the construction of new and affordable housing.  We are reforming our police department, while ensuring our officers have the resources necessary to keep themselves and our neighborhoods safe."

He adds progress was made on smart city investments, opening of the Salt City Market, taking steps toward the STEAM School, offering $1.3 million  to help small businesses … even amid the financial challenges of the past year. 

"I absolutely love this job.  Even despite what we've been through in the past year, we have a clear vision.  I think about all of the  seeds that we've planted, and we're going to need every one of those extra four years to accomplish everytghing  that we've set out to do."

To that end, he updated his campaign slogan to “Keep Rising” and will hope voters agree that progress made before the pandemic can continue under Walsh as we emerge from it.  The mayor says he's the first to admit that they have so much more work to do, and there are still so many people that are hurting and need opportunity. At least four others have announced intention to run for mayor this year: Khalid Bey, Michael Greene, Janet Burman and Thomas Babilon.