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Albany Area Voters To Decide On City, County Races Tuesday

Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC
Flashback: 2017 Election Cycle

Voters in the Albany area will decide a variety of city and county races Tuesday. 

Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan
Credit WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

“You know I’m really proud of the work that we’ve all accomplished here in the Town of Colonie. I would say my biggest accomplishment is saving this town from going under and being operated by a New York State Control Board.” ~ Paula Mahan

Voters in Albany County's biggest town have a choice to make on Election Day: stick with Democratic Supervisor Paula Mahan for a sixth term, or back Republican challenger Frank Mauriello of the County Legislature.  “We’re at a crossroads in Colonie right now. We can continue down this path of overdevelopment, increased traffic and issues at the landfill, or, we can make a change,” said Mauriello.

In the city of Albany, Mayor Kathy Sheehan scored a resounding victory in the September Democratic primary, effectively shoring up her chances to earn a second term.  "We've got an uphill battle, given the climate in Washington. And so, after a campaign that I'm really proud of, because I believe we put on a strong, positive campaign. It was about a record of accomplishments."

Sheehan is facing Conservative Joe Sullivan and Green Party hopeful Bryan Jiminez.

Two-time mayoral candidate Corey Ellis won the citywide primary race to be the new Albany Common Council president, assuming the Democrat can repeat his primary victory Tuesday.   "We're gonna continue the work that the mayor started and I'm proud to be a part of helping my hometown attain the growth that we need to grow."

If elected, Ellis will be next in line to succeed Sheehan if for any reason she leaves office during the next four years. In the primary Ellis defeated rivals Chris Higgins  and Mark Robinson. Robinson still has a shot: he's on the Conservative Party line.

Ten of the 15 Common Council seats had contested primaries. In a heated four-way race for the 11th ward, Alfredo Balarin edged out incumbent Judd Krasher and two other contenders.  Alfredo outlines his intentions:    "My gameplan is to work on my neighborhood, issues and concerns that people have in the neighborhood. Address their concerns, be accessible to people and make it so that everyone has a voice, even those who don't agree with me."

Incumbent councilors Leah Golby and Ron Bailey found themselves swept off the Democratic line, sparking concern over rumored abuse of the absentee balloting process, which incumbent Krasher admits he turned to as a means of combating low turnout after losing the primary.  "Not enough people realize that an option is available to them to vote if they are unable to vote on the machine, which is an absentee ballot."

Krasher thinks new electees to the 15th, 10th and 3rd wards, whom he characterizes as "independent-minded," will shake up the council.     "Tom Hoey. There was Owusu Anane. And there was Joyce Love who I thought were phenomenal candidates. They pulled off that victory and they will be a good check on the administration."

  • Various highway superintendents, supervisors, justices, clerks and councilpersons are on ballots in many Albany County towns and villages: here is a look at the complete list.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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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