Sheehan Victory: Albany Democrats Ready For Change

Sep 11, 2013

Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Albany Democrats have spoken. The primary is over, and City Treasurer Kathy Sheehan is well on her way to taking office as the capital city's first female chief executive... 

Albany Democrats have a new sense of momentum - going in a positive direction, if former city councilman and mayoral candidate Corey Ellis' concession speech is any indication. Pre-election polls had already given Kathy Sheehan a large advantage going into Tuesday's primary. Her victory address at the packed Albany Pump Station reflected the anticipation that something new is beginning.

Albany's presumptive mayor-to-be may be signaling the end of a century-long political dynasty - crystallized by the term "Democratic machine," which many in the crowd now believe has been vanquished.

Outgoing Mayor Jerry Jennings, who announced in May he would not seek a sixth term, did not endorse a mayoral candidate, but did come out stumping for Gary Domalewicz to succeed Sheehan as City Treasurer. Domalewicz was handed a loss by Sheehan-backed Darius Shahinfar.  State Senator Neil Breslin blessed the Sheehan win, framing it as  "a wonderful new beginning."

Assuming Sheehan wins in November, Capital Region author and historian Don Rittner says "Madame Mayor" will be a municipal milemarker. Rittner adds that Sheehan will push the Capital City into the 21st century technologically.

The next act of this political play comes with November's general election that pits Sheehan mainly against Republican Jesse Calhoun and Conservative Joe Sullivan.