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Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan Running For Third Term

Assemblyman John McDonald, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, businessman Vic Christopher and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy at Quackenbush Square for the Uber launch.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Assemblyman John McDonald, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, businessman Vic Christopher and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy at Quackenbush Square in 2017.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan made it official Monday: she is running for a third term.The Democrat and former city treasurer released a campaign kickoff video, saying the challenges of 2020 led her to seek a third term next year despite past suggestions she would serve two.

Sheehan's campaign released a statement and video including endorsements from city officials once considered possible 2021 primary challengers, including Common Council President Corey Ellis and Chief City Auditor Dorcey Applyrs.

The story was first reported by Spectrum News.

In November, the city’s first female mayor told WAMC that an announcement about her plans for the 2021 election would "be coming very soon.”

"With 2020, everything changed and there's still a lot of work to be done," she said. "There is a lot of work that was put on pause and there's new work that is under way. And I want to be part of policing reform in this city, and I want to be part of the incredible work that our community is doing around the health disparities that have been highlighted by COVID, and by the focus that we also have on creating a city where every neighborhood works. So a lot of work to do, and I'll be making an announcement very soon."

Ellis toldWAMC he would like to be mayor but wasn't sure if 2021 was the right time to run. Ellis lost the 2013 primary to Sheehan, who was then City Treasurer. They were vying to replace five-term Democratic Mayor Jerry Jennings.

In a 2017 debate, Sheehan said she supports term limits and thinks two terms is the right amount, but she did not commit to that limit outright:

"I absolutely support term limits," she said in the 2017 Times Union debate. "Two terms to me is what they have in Syracuse, two terms is what we have for our president, and I think that this is something that I supported when I ran last time and I continue to support it."

Sheehan defeated then-Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and then-Common Councilor Frank Commissso, Jr. in the pivotal Democratic primary en route to her second term.


A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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