Kathy Sheehan wins Democratic primary for Albany mayor

Thumbnail image for kathy sheehan 2013-09-05 1The big takeaway from Tuesday's primary election results: Kathy Sheehan is in position to become the next mayor of Albany.

Sheehan, the current city treasurer, won the city's Democratic primary for mayor 66-29 over former councilman Corey Ellis, according to unofficial results.* That margin isn't really a surprise -- Sheehan had big leads in polls from both late July and early September.

Sheehan will now face Jesse Calhoun (Republican), Joseph Sullivan (Conservative), and whoever emerges from the Green Party.** Because of the overwhelming enrollment advantage Democrats have in the city, something highly unexpected would have to happen for Sheehan to not win the general election.

Albany has had just three mayors since 1942. When Jerry Jennings finishes his term this December, he'll have held the office for the last 20.

Earlier on AOA: Albany mayoral candidate interview 2013: Kathy Sheehan

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* A little bit of maybe only-kind-of-interesting numerical perspective: There were 10,632 votes cast in the Democratic mayoral primary, according to the unofficial results (not including absentees), compared to 14,466 in 2009. Sheehan's total this year: 6,973. As it happens, that is 1,619 fewer votes than she got in the Democratic primary for treasurer in 2009 when she got the most votes of any candidate in any city primary (Jerry Jennings got 8,130 votes in the primary that year).

Or, to look at this total a different way: There are roughly 98,000 people who live in the city of Albany (all residents, not just those registered to vote) -- the probable (almost certain) next mayor was selected by roughly 7 percent of those people, with about 11 percent of them voting in the Democratic primary.


** There were 10 votes cast in the Green primary, according to the unofficial results -- six of them write in.

Comments

Are the electorate so enslaved by their vices to be missing in the most important process they have to show up for to indicate their intelligence for our future circumstance? Maybe it's better this way as they seem to not have enough intelligence to make a vote count perhaps they would just pander to irrational decisions anyway. It is real difficult to believe this kind of social pathology is happening.

It would help if a significant percentage of us were not excluded from the electoral process simply because we do not wish to affiliate with the Democratic faction.

Irritated Voter: That's why even the most conservative people I know here are registered Dem. Some states have a system where any voter can vote in any primary. This could lead to spoiler votes where people vote on weak candidates in the party they oppose, setting up their candidate up for an easier election. I'm not sure if that's a huge problem since it only really appeals to huge political nerds but I could see it leading to problems in local elections where margins are so slim.

I'm with you @IrritatedVoter - it's quite frustrating.

Mike & Irritated voter:

But the current system is the worst system except for all the other systems. Lucy is right that crossover voting allows for essentially, electoral trolling. Which has actually been done by one of America's leading Republican voices:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rush_Limbaugh_Show#Operation_Chaos

I wouldn't want to be a registered Democrat in most towns in Hamilton County (McCain +30%) any more than a Republican in Ithaca, but at least I can still vote my conscience in the general election and work to make my party more viable locally.

And these things do change over time - neighborhoods change, cities change, even states change.

Irritated voter, you are excluding yourself. Don't blame anyone else, it's your choice not to join a party.

If you do not like the exiting parties, form a new one or join the one closest to your views and work to change it. But please don't feel sorry for yourself that someone has excluded you.

Chad-
It's a lousy system that only works when there are multiple parties. When the bulk of the population is only interested in keeping their party in power the primary is kind of pointless. Just let your party bosses pick the nominee. I pay taxes and your party elections are publicly funded. Based on that, I don't understand how I can be barred from voting in them.

Anyway, since these Democratic nominees call themselves "progressive", perhaps they can consider some new ideas for Albany, such as proportional representation, or non-partisan elections at the city-level.

" I pay taxes and your party elections are publicly funded. Based on that, I don't understand how I can be barred from voting in them." You can vote on the primaries of "your" party. You pay taxes for public schools as well, irritated, does this entitle you to attend Kindergarten again if your heart desires?

As for you assertion that the primary is pointless, that contradicts your previous gripe that all of the important decisions are make in the primary in a area where one or the other party is more heavily represented. If primaries are so pointless why are you stamping your feet since you can't vote in the Democratic one??

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