Kathy Sheehan is officially running for mayor of Albany

kathy sheehan at albany mayoral candidacy announcement

Sheehan after her announcement in Washington Park.

Kathy Sheehan officially announced this past weekend that she's running for mayor of Albany in 2013.

The current city treasurer said her administration would have three priorities: "economic opportunity, rebuilding our neighborhoods, and putting our city government on a path to fiscal sustainability." And challenges the city faces, in her view: "poverty, inequality, disinvestment, and inefficient city government."

Sheehan's the first candidate to officially jump into the pool. Jerry Jennings hasn't publicly said yet whether he's running for re-election (signs are pointing toward yes). Other potential candidates: former councilman Corey Ellis, who challenged Jennings during the last election and lost 56-44; and Dan Egan, president of the school board. All our Democrats. (This is Albany after all, the primary election will decide the outcome.) [TU]

Sheehan first ran for office in 2009 and beat the incumbent city treasurer, Betty Barnette. Her background is as a corporate attorney and executive with Intermagnetics, a Schenectady-based tech company that was sold to Philips in 2006. And in her short speech Saturday she started staking out a technocratic position in the field:

I will use my management experience to put us on a path, a sustainable path. It starts by embracing 21st century technology that will allow us to analyze data for better decisions, anticipate problems so that we can resolve them proactively, and coordinate resources to make sure we deliver effective and efficient city services.

Other initiatives she proposed: connecting city residents with new jobs at places like Albany Med, and focusing on converting vacant buildings to owner occupied housing. Of course, stuff like that sounds great on the stump. Actually making it happen is difficult.

The upcoming race could be an interesting one. If Jennings does run, he'll be trying to get elected for the sixth time. Sheehan appears to be a formidable challenger. And the potential presence of Ellis (and maybe Egan) could also shake up the picture, perhaps splitting the opposition to Jennings.

More coverage: Times Union | WNYT.

Bonus bit: How mayors has the city of Albany had since 1941? The answer's post jump.

Answer: Three: Erastus Corning II (1941-1983), Thomas Whalen (1983-1993), Jerry Jennings (1993-now).

A complete list via Wikipedia.

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Recent Comments

It amazes me that people still pin budgetary issues for old post-industrial upstate cities on individual mayors. This is a nationwide problem for all but the largest cities. But it's depressing that issues like getting vacant or dilapidated properties back on the tax rolls or making it easier for small businesses to open are being addressed and no one even notices. Given that, exactly what incentive is there for any politician to do anything? I'll give all the candidates a fair hearing, Sheehan included. But if we want to have any chance of fixing our problems, we really need to start acknowledging the progress we have made.

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