Jerry Jennings not running for re-election

jerry jennings large

Jennings during his 2009 campaign for mayor.


There's been a lot of speculation over whether Jerry Jennings would be running for re-election this fall for mayor of Albany. Speculation over.

From a letter to city residents sent out by the mayor's office Tuesday evening:

My love for this City and my commitment to our children, our neighborhoods and the people who reside in them is boundless. Given this, the decision of whether to seek another term as your mayor has been one of the difficult evaluations I have ever faced. My family has been supportive; my trusted friends valued.
After countless hours of deliberation and evaluation, I have decided not to seek re-election as your Mayor. Although every day I still find joy in the work I do and in the people I serve, the time has come for a new chapter to be written.

The full letter is embedded after the jump.

Jennings is the 74th mayor in Albany's history. He was elected to the office in 1993, upsetting the Democrat party's establishment candidate. He's now in his fifth term and is the second longest tenured mayor in Albany history, after only Erastus Corning 2nd.

The city of Albany has had just three mayors since 1942.

Current city treasurer Kathy Sheehan has already announced her candidacy for the job, as has former Common Councilman Corey Ellis, who challenged Jennings in the Democratic primary in 2009. Both are Democrats -- and the party's September primary is pretty much the de facto election for the office. It will be interesting to see if Jennings' announcement prompts others to get into the race.

The city of Albany will have a new mayor next year. It's not often you can say that.

Also after the jump: A compilation of reaction to the announcement...

Letter from Jerry Jennings

Jerry Jennings Not Running for Re-election Letter


Later on AOA: Jerry Jennings on the decision to not run


Say it isn't so JERRY!

Paul VanDenburg was complaining about the state of the city, state,and country. Put your money where your mouth is Paul,and run for mayor! Or, Kristi now is your time to jump in there, and bring your FB fans. I think our "AOA" Mary would be the best Mayor!

For all those tweeting about what a great job Jennings did, either they don't understand basic finance (quite possible) or they are lying to advance their own agendas (very possible). It is no coincidence that Tuesday morning Cuomo essentially announced that Albany would have to deal with a restructuring board next year and Tuesday evening Jerry quit. Cuomo even called Jerry out on it by specifically mentioning "the past 20 years" in reference to "the dance" that Albany has been playing with its finances. The music has stopped. And Jerry has left the building.

"For the past two years, Albany has closed its budget with $7.8 million spin-ups on state payments in lieu of taxes for the Empire State Plaza.

"That's the dance that we've been doing for the past 20 years, and what we want to stop," Cuomo said. "If Albany wants assistance, they're going to have to come and talk to the panel about a real restructuring plan. If the state is to give assistance, it's going to be pursuant to that plan."

Read more:

I hope that I am not the only citizen of Albany who is infuriated by the accepted notion that winning the Democrat party primary is tantamount to being elected Mayor. Why should we leave it in the hands of traditional politics? As citizens of our city, we definitely have an opportunity to put a non-traditional candidate on the ballot with half a chance of being elected, but only as a city united. If the ballot fills with a dozen would-be reformers with a dozen different platforms, we simply hand the election back to the democrats. We need to put forth candidates for Mayor and city council positions all united by a common platform, established by the community, and which the community can stand behind. I suggest we form a new party-- the Albany Party--in which we ignore longstanding political and social differences, and instead hold a series of public debates aimed, not at identifying a candidate, but identifying a series of city-specific policies, one at a time. As a group, we can establish the most desired position on each issue one at a time, then find a candidate to fit the platform we have generated, instead of finding a platform to fit the candidate.

It's about time. Albany has so many things going for it, but the government and the mayor have squandered these opportunities for more than 20 years. Compared to other cities that are seats of government and that also have major universities, Albany's livability ranks very low. It's time to have a real downtown, protected bike paths, historic preservation, and affordable housing and neighborhoods that are actually pleasant to live in.

In 1990, I received a bill from the City of Albany for a bunch of trash I had cleaned out in a house I had bought. I wrote Mayor Jennings a letter disputing the bill. Within days, I got a call from one of his representatives telling me that the bill would be cancelled and that the Mayor appreciated my efforts to clean up my property. I never got the opportunity to thank him - so - thank you Mayor Jennings.

The Jennings years, in pictures:

@Barold. That is a really nice story but I think you either made a typo or have your dates confused. Jennings wasn't in office in 1990. He became mayor in 1994.

So we have two candidates, one is a former labor union organizer who grew up in the South End. The other...

"Kathy has significant private sector experience, most recently as a member of the senior management team at Intermagnetics General Corporation (Nasdaq: IMGC), which is now a division of Philips Medical Systems. Prior to being acquired by Philips in 2006, IMGC had annual sales in excess of $300 million. As vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Kathy participated in strategic planning and key decision-making regarding the direction of the business. She also advised the company and its board of directors on corporate governance, securities law compliance, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment issues and other legal matters."

Well at least we can sleep easy knowing our left guard like Citizen Action and Barbara Smith will go back to bat in 2013 for the working class candidate amirite?

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