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Sheehan Leads in YNN/Siena Albany Mayoral Poll

Photo composite by Dave Lucas

With the September Democratic primary just six weeks away, a new poll suggests Albany voters have a clear choice in mind as to who they believe will best fill the shoes of departing Mayor Jerry Jennings.  

The YNN/Siena College Poll released Wednesday night shows City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan with a wide lead over former City Council member Corey Ellis in the crucial Democratic primary. Siena pollster Don Levy says Sheehan is at 54 percent to Ellis' 23 percent - with 23 percent of voters undecided. For Ellis, it’s a stark difference from 2009’s final results, when Ellis came within 12 points of unseating Jennings.

WAMC political observer Dr. Alan Chartock says Sheehan has artfully brought together grassroots and establishment support.

Sheehan responded to a request for comment by email, part of which says, "Our campaign is based on a grassroots effort and neighbor-to-neighbor conversations about a shared vision for moving Albany forward... Poll numbers will not define our campaign or change how hard we work to reach every voter in Albany."

Conservative Party candidate Joe Sullivan says he doesn't take much stock in the YNN/Siena sample. Another Democrat, Marlon Anderson, failed to register with voters polled. Levy adds Anderson's leaving the race would not have any dramatic impact. Anderson, who saw his petitions tossed out by the board of elections, has vowed to continue campaigning on another party line.

And post-poll --- a "surprise" Democratic challenger is emerging: Joe Sullivan. Sullivan is urging "Reagan Democrats" and others to write his name on the primary ballot form.

Perhaps most fascinating: Siena found Mayor Jerry Jennings exiting office after 20 years on a very high note.

Neither Jennings nor Ellis responded to requests for comment in time for broadcast. Complete poll results are available here, and you can meet all of the candidates for Albany Mayorhere.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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