19-year-old leading race for 4th Ward Alderman in Rensselaer

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RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — For many, the idea of working in politics may not be the first thing that comes to mind at age 18 or 19, but for one Capital Region teen, he’s almost in.

“I was shocked,” Andrew Kretzschmar said. “I was blown away, and I was thankful for the amount of support I got.”

Kretzschmar just turned 19 in August, and he could become one of the youngest people in the Capital Region to hold a seat as a local politician.

“I wasn’t afraid of a challenge, and I saw the issues in the ward, and I saw that I could step in and try to be a voice for the people that didn’t feel like their voice was being heard,” he said.

As it stands, Kretzschmar currently leads the race to obtain a seat on the City of Rensselaer Common Council as Alderperson for the Fourth Ward over the current incumbent, Jim Casey, by 20 votes. While the city waits on the results from absentee ballots to make a final call, Kretzschmar said he has learned a lot about the election process and what it takes to be a representative for the people.

“When I started this campaign, I wanted to make sure that I ran a campaign that I was going to be proud of,” he said. “That I could, at the end of the day, say hey, that is my true values and I understand I’m going to represent everybody in the ward even if they didn’t vote for me even, if they didn’t vote at all.”

Casey has held the position of Alderman of the Fourth Ward for the past three terms. While Kretzschmar may be new to the game, he believes that, win or lose, it is critical for people to be involved in the political process and take action to be the change they wish to see. Because every vote matters, and your vote could be the one to make a difference.

“At the end of the day, it’s the taxpayers’ dollars at work,” Kretzschmar said. “This is the future of our city; the future of our country, so why not shape it the way we would want to see it happen.”

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