Albany County District Attorney David Soares has announced that he's running for re-election. The Democrat officially launched his campaign for a third term in office Monday, but he'll face a challenge in his own party this November. Solomon Syed has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- David Soares says he still has some unfinished business to tend to cleaning up Albany, but some past and present controversies could open the door for his challenger in the Democratic primary.
"It's been my honor to serve you for the last eight years. It would be my honor to serve you again" Soares said.
Soares announced he'll seek a third term in office as he stood under a tent in Academy Park, an irony even the DA couldn't ignore.
"I have to say when I walked up and saw tents in the park, my heart just sank and I thought 'oh no, we have to do this again,’" Soares said.
All kidding aside, Soares has been criticized for refusing to prosecute occupy protesters, along with his handling of the Florida Signature Pharmacy prosecution, which earned him a censure last week from a state appeals court for inappropriate comments about a judge in the case. Also last week, a court ordered Soares' former administrative director be put back and the job and given $200,000 in back pay, because Soares failed to follow proper procedures when he fired the employee back in 2010.
"He flunked law 101," said District Attorney Lee Kindlon.
Fellow Democratic Lee Kindlon, who plans to primary Soares, says the DA lacks the requisite courtroom experience to avoid these missteps and effective office.
Kindlon said, "The voters of Albany County want more, deserve more and are really looking for a change."
But that's what Soares says he already brought to the county when he took office in 2005, through a successful gun buyback program that's taken hundreds of guns of the streets, higher conviction rates for drunk drivers and the creation of a financial crimes bureau.
"I have more energy and more desire in this pursuit the third time than in the other previous two occasions," Soares said.
Soares formally accepted the nomination of both the Democratic and Working Families Parties at Monday’s announcement, but Kindlon plans to challenge him for the Democratic Party line. The primary is September 13th.