New Faces Poised To Join Albany's Common Council

Sep 13, 2017

With a resounding victory in the Democratic primary, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is highly likely to earn a second term. But  it appears several new faces could be joining Albany’s Common Council.

Two-time mayoral candidate Corey Ellis has finally won a citywide race as the new Albany Common Council president, assuming the Democrat can repeat his primary victory in the November general election.    "I'm just proud tonight that we're able to bring people together, and we're gonna continue the work that the mayor started and I'm proud to be a part of helping my hometown attain the growth that we need to grow."

Ellis pulled in 51 percent to Chris Higgins' 33 percent and Mark Robinson's 13 percent. Robinson still has a shot: he's on the Conservative Party line in November.

Ten of the 15 common council seats had contested primaries Tuesday. Sixth ward Councilor Richard Conti, fourth ward Councilor Kelly Kimbrough and first ward Councilor Dorcey Applyrs beat their respective opponents by wide margins. Applyrs has been at the front lines of the city's battles against the oil trains and air pollution.  "I am so elated and thankful, and owe it all to the residents in the first ward. They came out, they made it very clear that they would give me the honor to continue to represent them and be their voice at city hall, and I will continue to make them proud and continue to work extremely hard for them."

In the heated four-way race for the 11th ward, Alfredo Balarin edged out incumbent Judd Krasher and two other contenders.  "My gameplan is to work on my neighborhood, issues and concerns that people have in the neighborhood. Address their concerns, be accessible to people and make it so that everyone has a voice, even those who don't agree with me."

Incumbents Leah Golby and Ron Bailey found themselves swept off the Democratic line. Golby declined to comment at an election night watch party and was unreachable Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Krasher thinks new electees to the 15th, 10th and 3rd wards, whom he characterizes as "independent-minded," will shake up the council.   "Tom Hoey. There was Owusu Anane. And there was Joyce Love who I thought were phenomenal candidates. They pulled off that victory and they will be a good check on the administration."

Krasher doesn't believe all is lost in his own race. He's waiting for absentee and affadavit ballots to be counted, and does have a November berth on the Independence line. The oft opinionated Krasher isn't moved by Ellis' council presidency win.  "It's a figurehead position. That person is there to become mayor in the event that the mayor is unable to serve. It's a job that should be abolished, quite frankly, through charter reform."

Close races will be decided when uncounted votes are certified and tabulated, expected within two weeks.