Andre Wallace: "I think my chances are great"
With the Mount Vernon mayoral election just around the corner, News 12 introduces you to another Democratic candidate running for city’s top job - City Council President Andre Wallace.
The 52-year-old father and business owner, Wallace has lived in Mount Vernon for over 30 years.
He's spent the past three and a half years as a city councilman, and now he says he's ready take on the role of the city's chief executive.
Wallace says it’s time to step up, because the city is being run in a dysfunctional manner by current Mayor Richard Thomas. "I can probably do 10 times more as mayor than I can as city councilman."
There is no love lost between Wallace and the man he's trying to replace. He recently walked out of a Board of Estimates meeting presided over by Thomas, over a disagreement about salary resolution for two city commissioners. Mayor Thomas says that was just another example that Wallace was unwilling to work to solve issues. “What you saw at full display was continuous sabotage by the city council. They set us up to fail when I first got into office. And it continues to attack the people that work for the people of Mount Vernon.”
Thomas is not alone in saying Wallace is a part of the problem at city hall. But Wallace insists, he's simply trying to root out corruption. "If you go back to my time here in council, I'm the only one that has stood up to everything that is wrong with corruption."
Wallace is the only candidate vying for the top job at Mount Vernon City Hall who does not have a college degree, but he says that has not held him back in any way throughout his career. He says he left college nine credits shy of getting an engineering degree. “I didn't go back. You know why? Because I chose to open up a business and run a business."
Besides Thomas, Wallace's competition for mayor's job include former Police Commissioner Clyde Isley and former Planning Commissioner Shawyn Patterson-Howard.
It's a sprint to the finish, with a packed calendar for Wallace until election day on June 25. He is optimistic about his chance of winning. "I think my chances are great."