Capital Region News
2:43 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Jennings Exit Impacts Mayoral Race

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings
Credit WAMC Photo/ Dave Lucas

This week, Albany was rocked by the news that longtime Mayor Jerry Jennings has opted not to seek a sixth term. But even before his official announcement Wednesday, the rest of the city’s political machine was already in motion.

It's a game changer for the mayoral hopefuls - and it will be difficult for even the most qualified among them to fill Mayor Jennings' shoes - the man himself knows this: he as much as said so during a meeting with the press the day after emailing his resignation letter.

News of the resignation sent shock waves through the city. It astounded Independent Democratic candidate Marlon Anderson and Conservative hopeful Joe Sullivan.

July 2011 : Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings helps make history as he signs documents for a same-sex couple during midnight hour marriages at City Hall.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

And "change" gives way to strategic planning. Jennings’ would-be successors suddenly find themselves with more to gain (or lose) than ever. Democratic Party-backed city Treasurer Kathy Sheehan told WAMC she's ready to meet change and challenge.

Democrat Corey Ellis, who captured 44 percent of the vote in the last mayoral primary in 2009, shares Jerry Jennings’ passion for education and believes in the mayor's role as "champion" of city youth.

Barbara Smith of the Albany Common Council told WAMC’s Alan Chartock that education is a critical component of city government. Smith added that the clock is running for the declared candidates, and although it has been suggested another candidate may enter the ring, it may be too late for anyone else to organize and launch a successful challenge.