Albany mayor candidate: Omar Salaam shares campaign ahead of Albany’s mayoral election

Updated: Oct. 23, 2019 at 6:16 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A candidate for Albany mayor, Omar Salaam said he wants to bring industry back to the area.

Salaam said to reduce the amount of crime in the city people need resources.

Resources, he pointed out, to help children after school and people out of work.

Born in Albany in 1954, Salaam stayed in the city, starting his own business here.

“I’ve been in downtown since I was nine or 10-years-old. Walking up and down the streets, selling peanuts,” said Salaam.

Salaam ran for Ward 3 seat on the Albany City Commission back in the 80s.

“I started this campaign about three years ago in my mind," Salaam said. "I’ve been gradually progressing and I’ve been learning as I’ve been going along.”

The issue of crime in Albany looks a little differently than it did three years ago.

“City government leaders must provide some type of opportunity for the youth, for those people who have fallen through the cracks, who don’t have jobs, we must put some type of programs together,” Salaam said.

This means also tackling the issue of blight and poverty in the area.

“It’s to the point right now where it’s at a recognizable, massive level,” Salaam said.

Salaam said he also wants to figure out a way to fix the problem of high utility bills throughout the city.

“Jobs is another one. We want to create some industries. We want to create some jobs,” said Salaam.

Salaam went back to school at Albany Technical School. He got a degree in culinary science and now he travels to festivals and events with his food truck.

He said he has first-hand knowledge of the importance of education and job creation.

“I want to see Albany great again, you know," Salaam said. "It was good in the 60s, 70s, 80s. We want to see it robust again.”

Early voting is currently underway.

If you can’t get out to the polls now, you can vote on actual election day, which is Nov. 5.

Salaam is one of the candidates competing against incumbent Dorothy Hubbard for the city’s top spot. Henry Mathis, Bo Dorough, James Bernard Pratt, Jr., Eddie Allen and Tracy Taylor are also seeking the mayor’s seat in the November election.

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