With September fast approaching, the city of Albany's political climate is heating up as mayoral candidates strive to bring their messages to the citizens.
Incumbent first-term Democratic Mayor Kathy Sheehan's campaign is running a TV spot extolling her tenure. "A mayor who turned down a city-owned car and police escort, cut city spending, held the line on taxes, turned a budget deficit into a surplus and insisted on fair funding for all neighborhoods."
There was a hint of the "accessible" theme when Sheehan spoke with WAMC during a June rally at her Madison Avenue campaign headquarters. "When you have leadership in government that listens to the residents and that ensures that we are doing what our neighborhoods want, what our neighborhood associations what, that's how you build a strong city and that's how you build strong neighborhoods, so we want to continue that work and continue moving that forward."
Common Councilor Frank Commisso Jr. took his campaign to social media Tuesday evening, appearing live on Facebook... tackling issues like crime… "As mayor, I will not allow Albany to turn into a Chicago."…and Albany's lack of a permanent police chief. "The mayor's office said there would be a permanent police chief named following a nationwide search. If there's any evidence of that nationwide search I'm not privy to it as a member of the Albany Common Council."
According to the Times Union Commisso has $66,920 in his campaign coffers, eclipsing Sheehan and Carolyn McLaughlin.
He has a laundry-list of criticisms of the incumbent's nearly four-year term, including the red light camera program, the initiative to add bike lanes to major streets and some tax exemption errors involving commercial properties and luxury condos that the Times Union reported "could have cost the city millions."
Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin's campaign has been comparatively low-key. During a January interview with WAMC she said she also found fault with red light cameras and Sheehan's early drive to close Ladder One in the city's South End. That plan was ultimately scuttled. "I'm running because I believe that I'm the voice that's needed to bring about the change that's so needed in the city of Albany. We're at a tipping point right now, and I wanna make sure that the city tips in the right direction, and I believe that my voice and the perspective that I can bring to the discussion with all parties that being stakeholders, to get the kind of response that is needed."
Those who champion discussion can mark August 17th as a day of reckoning. WAMC and NewsChannel 13 will host a live debate among the three at 8 p.m. at The Linda, WAMC’s performing arts studio. The debate will be broadcast live. Attendees can RSVP at thelinda.org.
The primary is September 12th.
Other candidates running for Mayor include Dan Plaat and Bryan Jimenez, who will lock horns in a Green party primary; Margaret Trowe, a member of the Socialist Workers Party, Community activist Marlon Anderson and Conservative Joe Sullivan.