Items tagged with 'Kathy Sheehan'
The 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
A 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.
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...
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.
Bonus bit: How mayors has the city of Albany had since 1941? The answer's post jump.