Two high-ranking Albany County officials jointly announced re-election campaigns Sunday.
There was a large turnout at Carpenters Local #291 for Albany County Executive Dan McCoy and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple as they formally announced their re-election bids.
Since 2011 the two leaders have partnered in variety of initiatives including the fight against the opioid epidemic, indigent defense, keeping younger kids out of the juvenile system and issues involving veterans.
McCoy is seeking a third four-year term, as is Apple.
City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan joined Congressman Paul Tonko and a number of Democratic public officials who turned out. "At a time when we know, that in our nation's capitol, notwithstanding the hard work of our amazing Congressman Paul Tonko, there is much, much chaos. And there are messages that are sent to ordinary people like us. Working people, working families, immigrants, that are angry, and that are not reflective of our democratic and American values. But here in Albany County we have leaders that are fighting for working families. We have leaders that understand that for our community to grow, we must be a place that welcomes everyone. We must be a place that provides opportunity for everyone. We must be a place that ensures that we are doing all that we can to make our families know that they have people fighting for them. Fighting for them in our Sheriff's office and fighting for them in Albany County in our executive's office. And with Dan McCoy and Sheriff Apple, we have those leaders," said Sheehan.
Apple and McCoy screened campaign videos for the friendly crowd. Apple says he is more than ready for another four years. "This is our third election together, Danny and I. You know we've accomplished some marvelous things in this county. We've got a lot of things we still want to accomplish. So we look forward to having a third term. You know we've got a opioid epidemic that we need to work on hard. It's killing our kids. Destroying families. We've got a new communications system in that we're continuing to roll out toward sour county highway trucks now. We've got busses on it. We've got cops, firemen, EMTs on it. We have immigration issues that we need to straighten out and the things going on in this country that people need to wake up and pay attention to because it affects all of us."
Earlier in the day Apple tweeted at President Donald Trump, imploring him to intervene in the case of Capital City Rescue Mission chef Kinimo Ngoran, recently taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Apple has gained headlines for using the county jail to house migrants detained under the administration’s strict immigration policies.
McCoy says the shift and shortening of the political calendar presents a new challenge. "We haven't voted like this since '04. Petitions are going out early. People are voting June 25th. You can vote 10 days early. Anyone can get an absentee ballot now with no excuse. So there's things that we have to look at. We have to educate the voters and get 'em from September to June. Kids are graduating from school. They're graduating from high school. They're moving on to college. So a lot of things are going on in people's lifes at that time. So, really it's gonna take our job with everyone to educate 'em and let people know we got voting now in June."
February 26th is the day petition signings begin. The Albany County Board of Elections did not return a call for comment regarding other possible candidates who may have expressed interest in either office.