Former two-time mayoral candidate Corey Ellis is back in Albany politics, running for common council president.
UPDATE: According to Council Member Leah Golby, Richard Conti advised her by email that he does not intend to run for council president.
With current council President Carolyn McLaughlin now running for mayor, Ellis has stepped up to fill the void. The Democrat says he has a vision for Albany. "And I believe I can bring that voice for the people and also bring that leadership to the city council and also working with other city agencies."
Ellis vows he'll work with the council and the mayor to further the best interests of the city he says he loves. But first there's the September party primary. "With my long history, being state Democratic committee member, committee member now as well, and really being for the party, you know I'm seeking to get that party endorsement. It's something when I look at our city and I look at the love that I have for the city. In our neighborhood we used to say 'if you get knocked down, get back up.' And I've been knocked down a few times in politics, but I know I have something to offer the city, the leadership that can help our city government move forward, and also help our city government maneuver through these tough times that we're having."
Ellis gave then-Mayor Jerry Jennings a scare in the 2009 primary before losing to now-Mayor Kathy Sheehan four years later. Albany County Executive Dan McCoy thinks Ellis has a shot in his latest run. "I've known Corey a long time. We've been in Albany our whole lives together, and here's a guy that's represented the common council for a while, did two terms there, ran for mayor, and now he's running for president of common council and he has some great ideas."
Touting his Capital City roots, Ellis asserts he's for youth, for business, for neighborhoods... he sees the common council presidency — one of the only citywide elected positions — as a gateway to making Albany a better place. "When it's your hometown and you have your family immersed here, and the hundreds of kids I've spoken to and mentored in the city, I can't give up. When I lost the mayor race, one thing people said 'Corey, don't give up. Stick with it.' That's about getting knocked down. I'm getting back up. I'm dusting myself off. I think it'll mean something to the citizens."
Albany School Board member Kenny Bruce likes Ellis' pro-city message. "I agree with Corey and I do think that while the school district and the political leadership are separate entities, I do feel like we have to work hand in hand to basically shift what's happening in Albany. I mean, we have poor people in certain neighborhoods of the city who are not getting educated, who do not have opportunities, who then do not qualify for jobs... those people are being left behind. We have to restructure our school district to focus on them more, and we need the impetus to come from city leadership."
Additional candidates are expected to announce runs for council president; names being mentioned include council President Pro Tempore Richard Conti, who currently represents the 6th ward.