Items tagged with 'Albany mayor 2013'

Talking with the Republican, Green, and Conservative candidates for Albany mayor

albany mayoral candidates 2013 calhoun portelli sullivan
Jesse Calhoun, Theresa Portelli, Joe Sullivan

As you know, one of the offices up for election in Tuesday's election is mayor of Albany, an important election for a lot people -- whether they live in the city, work in the city, or just go there often. And as you also know, voter enrollment in the city heavily Democratic -- so the winner of September's Democratic primary, current city treasurer Kathy Sheehan, is in position to take the election. (Here's an interview with her from just before the primary.)

Pretty much every candidate will tell you they're in a race to win it. But even if victory is a long shot, there are other reasons to run -- maybe most importantly, getting alternative ideas out there and focusing attention on topics a candidate thinks should be getting more of the spotlight.

So with that mind, we interviewed the other mayoral candidates with spots on the ballot: Jesse Calhoun, on the Republican line; Theresa Portelli, on the Green Party line; and Joe Sullivan, on the Conservative Party line.

Here are their answers to a handful of questions in a quick scan, pick-and-choose format.

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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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Siena poll: Sheehan has big lead on Ellis

sheehan ellis 2013-09A Siena poll out this weekend reported that Kathy Sheehan leads Corey Ellis in the Democratic mayoral primary 68-20 -- and that's with 92 percent of respondents saying they've either made up their mind or are unlikely to change it.

The poll result isn't really surprising. Sheehan had a large lead in a Siena poll released at the beginning of August, and if a voter was leaning in her direction there probably isn't much that's happened in the interim that would shift that decision. It's not that people seem to dislike Ellis -- 58 percent said they have a favorable opinion of him. It's just that people like Sheehan more -- 76 percent said they have a favorable opinion. (And 65 percent said they have a favorable opinion of Jerry Jennings.)

The thing we took away from the poll results: People appear to be expecting that Sheehan will make a significant difference for the city.* Three-quarters of respondents have a favorable opinion of her. The same number say they're satisfied with the choices for mayor. And when asked, "Overall today, do you think a Mayor of Albany is capable of successfully addressing the problems facing Albany or do you think the
problems are too large for any Mayor to address?" -- more than 70 percent said they think the mayor is capable of successfully addressing the problems facing the city.

It'll be interesting to see how people react if a Sheehan administration hits some speed bumps. It's not like that's necessarily a low-probability event -- however well prepared and planned an administration might be, things almost never go exactly to plan. And Albany definitely faces some rough stretches, particularly in closing the city's budget gap.

* Well, duh, they say they're going to vote for her. But sometimes people vote for the the candidate they think is the least-bad choice.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Albany mayoral candidate interview: Corey Ellis
+ Albany mayoral candidate interview: Kathy Sheehan

Albany mayor 2013: Kathy Sheehan

kathy sheehan 2013-09-05 1
Kathy Sheehan.

For the first time in 20 years, Albany will have a new mayor next year. The changeover is important not just for the city itself, but for the tens of thousands of people who go there each day for work or entertainment. Even if you don't live in Albany, what happens there probably affects you in some way.

The key point in the process of electing the next mayor is next Tuesday, September 10, primary day. Because the voter registration in Albany is overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner of the Democratic primary for mayor will almost certainly win the general election.

This week we talked with the two Democratic competing in the primary -- former common councilman Corey Ellis, and current city treasurer Kathy Sheehan. We asked them each the same set of questions on a range of issues -- from why they want to be mayor, to an aquarium downtown, to what books have influenced them -- and we're sharing those answers at length. The Q&A is set up so it's easy to scan and focus in on the questions that interest you.

On Thursday, we had the responses form Corey Ellis. Today, answers from Kathy Sheehan...

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Albany mayor 2013: Corey Ellis

corey ellis 2013-09-04 1
Corey Ellis. He also ran for mayor in 2009, losing to Jerry Jennings in the Democratic primary.

For the first time in 20 years, Albany will have a new mayor next year. The changeover is important not just for the city itself, but for the tens of thousands of people who go there each day for work or entertainment. Even if you don't live in Albany, what happens there probably affects you in some way.

The key point in the process of electing the next mayor is next Tuesday, September 10, primary day. Because the voter registration in Albany is overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner of the Democratic primary for mayor will almost certainly win the general election.

This week we talked with the two Democratic competing in the primary -- former common councilman Corey Ellis, and current city treasurer Kathy Sheehan. We asked them each the same set of questions on a range of issues -- from why they want to be mayor, to an aquarium downtown, to what books have influenced them -- and we're sharing those answers at length. The Q&A is set up so it's easy to scan and focus on the questions that interest you.

First up: Corey Ellis.

Update: Here are the responses from Kathy Sheehan.

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Picking through that Siena poll on the Albany mayoral Democratic primary

Thumbnail image for sheehan ellis side by sideA few bits from the Siena/YNN poll of the Albany Democratic mayoral primary:

+ When asked for whom Democratic respondents would vote for today, Kathy Sheehan led Corey Ellis 54-23, with 23 percent undecided. 85 percent of respondents said there was either "no chance" they would change their mind or it was unlikely.

+ When asked which candidate would do a better job on a series of issues, Sheehan led Ellis in every issue -- with the largest margins for economic development (50-19) and keeping city taxes under control (50-18) and "capitalizing on the Hudson River waterfront as an Albany asset" (49-14). Ellis was closest on fighting crime (39-26) and addressing neighborhood concerns (40-32).

+ 57 percent of respondents said they support term limits for mayor.

+ 71 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Jerry Jennings. And 66 percent said they rate his job as mayor as either good or excellent.

+ 51 percent said they believe the city is on the right track.

+ The poll also asked people's opinions on a handful of aspects of the city. The answers point to some disparities between how African-American and white residents perceive and experience the quality of things like the condition of parks and roads, and the job done by police. A graph of responses is after the jump.

The poll did not ask people about non-Democratic candidates.

Crosstabs. The margin of error for the poll was +/- 3.2 percentage points and +/- 3.8 percentage points for Democrats only.

Update: YNN talked with Sheehan and Ellis about the poll results and some of the issues mentioned.

The primary is September 10. Considering the fact that the city is overwhelmingly Democratic by enrollment, the primary is pretty much the de facto election. And last time around, only about 14,000 people cast a vote in the mayoral primary. So it's worth doing some research and voting, if you can -- because your vote really could matter. That's especially true in Common Council primaries, where seats are sometimes won by fewer than 20 votes.

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Jerry Jennings on the decision not to run

Jerry Jennings press conference

"I haven't lost my love for this city. I haven't lost my excitement about seeing and getting things done."

As you've heard, Jerry Jennings announced via letter Tuesday night that he will not run for re-election. This is a big deal -- Jennings has been in office for 20 years. And, at least in the last century or so, Albany doesn't get a new mayor very often. There have been just three since 1942.

The way the announcement came about was a surprise, too. As Common Council president Carolyn McLaughlin told the media this morning: "Very few people knew [that it was happening], even people close to him ... They were surprised."

So, as you might imagine, there were a lot of people packed into a conference room at city hall Wednesday morning to hear Jennings talk a bit about his decision.

Here's a quick scan of a handful of clips -- even one about tanning...

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Jerry Jennings not running for re-election

jerry jennings large

Jennings during his 2009 campaign for mayor.

Updated

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...

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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.

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The Scoop

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