Shawn Morris drops out of Albany mayoral race

shawn morris 2009 cropFrom a campaign press release that just arrived via email:

I got into this race to affect change, to make government open, transparent and available to all its citizens. I got into this race to make sure city government focused on the people who live here and on the neighborhoods in which we live.
But in recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that, in a three way race, there is no way to achieve that. Although the most efficient way to affect change in Albany is through the Mayor's office, when the vote is divided into too many wedges, the status quo will rule. I don't want that to happen. And rather than expend so many resources in a race where there is no route to victory, I am withdrawing from this race.

The whole release is posted after the jump.

That leaves mayor Jerry Jennings and councilman Corey Ellis -- both Democrats -- as the frontrunners. As the TU reported today, Jennings is crushing everyone in fundraising.

Earlier this year, Morris -- who's currently the Common Council president -- talked with AOA about how she would address some of the challenges facing Albany.

Earlier on AOA: Answers from Corey Ellis

_________

Sixteen years ago, I ran for Common Council because I loved my community, and I wanted to be sure my neighbors and I would have a strong voice in keeping it a good place to raise our families and live our lives.

Welcoming and safe neighborhoods, good and open government. That's why I ran for Common Council and that's why I announced my candidacy for Mayor.

Over the years I've worked hard on those issues, as a neighborhood activist, as a proponent of government change and, most importantly, as the elected representative of the citizens of Albany.

Today I have more than 2600 signatures on a petition to run for mayor. The signatures were collected by over 100 people who gave their time and talent to knock on doors, talking to voters about our city and what we can do to make it better. The conversations were terrific; people want to talk about Albany's potential. They have clear ideas on what they want to see changed in how we are governed. Our volunteers are committed, independent people who work hard every day to make our city better. They spent hours and hours on this effort for only one reason: they are committed to good government; they want Albany neighborhoods to have a fighting chance.

The door to door experience demonstrated once again why it is that Albany has survived so gloriously through four separate centuries: because the people who live here are smart and engaged. There is just no city like Albany for a door to door campaign, no where else where busy people are so willing to have frank conversations about government and politics with people who knock on their doors!

That's why my decision about filing petitions is so difficult. I got into this race to affect change, to make government open, transparent and available to all its citizens. I got into this race to make sure city government focused on the people who live here and on the neighborhoods in which we live.

But in recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that, in a three way race, there is no way to achieve that. Although the most efficient way to affect change in Albany is through the Mayor's office, when the vote is divided into too many wedges, the status quo will rule. I don't want that to happen. And rather than expend so many resources in a race where there is no route to victory, I am withdrawing from this race.

Political resources are finite. Money in a tight economy, people's time and energy are all very dear. It is best to spend those resources where they can make a difference. We have the opportunity in this city to make change. There are common council and citywide seats up for grabs which can ensure a majority of independent, neighborhood focused representatives are elected. I will work hard this summer to ensure that people committed to making sure that there is financial transparency and appropriate checks and balances on the authority of the Mayor are elected to office.

I am really quite sad to have made this decision. The years I spent representing first the 7th Ward and then the entire city have been the most fulfilling of my career. I have made lifelong friendships, been challenged by great thinkers, and been welcomed into the homes and lives of wonderful people. I have worked to protect our neighborhoods, stood solidly for good government and worked with people of all ages and backgrounds who are just plain inspirational.

I am so glad that I have served, so glad that my children have grown up with the view that elective office and public service are honorable and important ventures. And I am, especially, so honored to have the support, in past races and in this one, of so many people that I admire and respect.

There is much in Albany government that needs to change. But there is so much in Albany, in its people, in its resources and in its history that needs to be treasured. I will continue to work with our neighborhoods and the people in this city to move our city forward.

Comments

Shame on you for posting press releases verbatim :-(

That stinks. I really liked what she was bringing to the race, someone who seemed to care about our community. Hopefully she will be back!

Christ--I can't believe Jennings is still out-fundraising both his opponents by such a large margin. With the corruption, incompetence, etc. of his loooong administration, who the hell would want his orange ass in for another term?

Here's hoping Corey can somehow become a more dynamic opponent... and soon! (While I think he's a smart guy, he came across as a little too reserved, and a little fuzzy on some important issues from the AOA interview of him.)

While I'm not an Albany resident, strictly speaking, I did really like the perspective and ideas that Shawn brought to the table. As somebody that understands political realities, though, I can understand her decision, and I hope she keeps fighting for Albany.

Shawn was a fantastic candidate, and her presence in the race will surely be missed. However, as someone firmly in the Anyone But Jennings camp, I'm relieved that the Democratic primary race has been winnowed down to two major candidates. Corey now has a fighting chance, even in the face of the Jennings machine, as long as he's able to build the kind of grassroots support that got David Soares elected DA a few years ago.

Corey is not David Soares, he's David Soares lite, and Citizen Action and WFP drove Morris out of this race and they deserve what they are getting.
Corey does not inspire my dog and Jennings continues to sail into re-election.
This is a sad day for Albany

I am sad. She is definitely more competent and relevant than the other too politic know-nothings running. Jennings has no idea what is really going on in his city and Ellis just is using this mayoral campaign as a stepping stone for a long career to bigger and better things, ha. Shawn actually cares about Albany. Oh, money ruins everything.

This is so very hard to hear and believe. I know both candidates. After thinking it through, Shawn is really the better candidate for many reasons - experience, issues, follow-through, knowledge of the City, etc.

I hope Corey is able to beat our current occupant in the Mayor's office.

Does anyone really think Jennings will lose? How out of your mind do you have to be to think Ellis will win? There are too many hands in too many pockets my friends.

On a side note, I wish election years were every year. I'm pretty sure every single road in Albany was paved in the last month. Central Ave is a breeze!

"With the corruption [...] of his loooong administration, who the hell would want his orange ass in for another term"

You kind of answered your own question there, Kim.

Yeah, Kim - most of his ca$h isn't coming from city residents.

I'm sad about Shawn Morris, but more than happy to throw my support behind Corey Ellis for Mayor.

sorry Pine Hills Dan, rooting and hoping for a change is great, but to have it erased by someone that quits their run at mayor before the primaries is tough

as for Jerry, please remember that this guy was the Albany High Princiapal (or vice) back in the day when Albany High didnt have the reputation is does now and people actually lived in Albany and sent their kids to school here, so during those years he met and dealt with everyone, those folks are all in his demographic, 50-70ish and part of the old Albany scene, those folks have the money and support him

folks like Corey and Shawn attract younger more open minded voters......but younger and open minded folks generally dont have pockets deep enough to fund a successful campaign, its sad...but just the way it is

I'm a Jerry supporter, but its sad to see Shawn go, on the very basis that Shawn would've pushed Jerry into being a better mayor (this term and next), I dont think hes the best ever, there is lots of room for improvement, but now he certainly is the best option.

ps. any news from the Republican guy?

In terms of experience, skill and savvy Shawn Morris stands head and shoulders above Corey Ellis. So disappointing to me that she dropped out instead of him, not enthused about my choices this year at all. A young upstart whose priorities are not necessarily mine and whose ability to get anything done is unproven vs the standard quo guy with loathsome practices but who is able to get results when he wants to. Have the sad feeling that Albany is going to choose Jerry in a landslide.

Corey please get your act together and give us all a clear reason to vote for you other than that you aren't Jerry Jennings.

Fact: A lot of people in Ellis' own ward do not think he's been a good alderman and isn't ready now (if ever) to be mayor.

There's no great love for Jerry in the 3rd, but Corey isn't the answer.

"Does anyone really think Jennings will lose? How out of your mind do you have to be to think Ellis will win? There are too many hands in too many pockets my friends."

I really thought Shawn had a chance. She reached out to younger voters, sure, but she also reached out to the families throughout our city that are tired of not having their issues addressed. She had a much broader appeal than Corey, who has yet to knock on any door in my neighborhood.

Shawn has been such a great friend to neighborhood and community-based groups. She really has showed up, donated and worked cooperatively with us - very important and refreshing. While I know it was a difficult decision, she is doing the pragmatic thing to preserve precious resources. We've learned once again that she puts the City and our community first. We'll all just have to work harder to get good candidates elected to Common Council & Treasurer.

I'm just glad someone dropped out, otherwise it wouldn't have even been worth having a primary. As far as Corey's chances are now, I would suggest people don't underestimate the power of the WFP. They've pulled off some crazy stuff before. If they really get behind Corey who knows what will happen.

The mayoral race is over . WFP put the 1st nail in the coffin by backing the wrong (less experienced,non-citywide office-holder) candidate. It left a real uphill climb for all challengers.I'm going to do some work for the most independent candidate for City Council Prez that I can find. Can't let Jerry's ex-cop buddy just stroll into that job !

Junior Jim

i'm sorry but if she really loved Albany and was running for Mayor because she wanted to make a real change then she shouldn't have dropped out. the three way race business is a lame excuse. if she really wanted to win and really wanted to make change in cesspool that is Albany she would have stuck it through even if it was going to be a hard race. the road to greatness isn't a smooth ride and if she couldn't handle this bumpy election it just shows ever more that she wasn't up for the job in the first place.

@ loser:

There is a finite set of resources for the progressive movement in this City. She made the very tough, but very appropriate decision.

Granted, she was backed into this decision by a candidate with less experience and knowledge (and two organizations who admittedly chose the candidate they thought would best strengthen their respective donor roles, rather than the best candidate).

But, the people whom I am speaking to while going door-to-door for Council candidates completely understand and respect her decision. It's hard to be the bigger person sometimes, but she pulls it off with grace...

The Citizens of Albany have lost a great deal by her dropping out, but the progressive movement lives on in candidates like Leah Golby in the 10th, Luke Gucker in the 11th, Kathy Sheehan for Treasurer, Cathey Fahey in the 7th, Veronica Horne in the 5th...and so on.

See you folks on the trail! :-)

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