claims that Jerry Jennings supporters are backing a puppet
candidate in the 7th Ward
Someone wants 7th Ward Councilwoman Cathy Fahey (D, WFP) out
of office. After losing the Albany County Democratic Committee’s
endorsement twice to relatively unknown contenders, Fahey
had a suspicion that members of Albany’s Democratic Party
don’t want her around because she is not aligned with Mayor
view the fact that I did not get the endorsement as directly
connected to the fact that I was a very early supporter of
Shawn Morris’ candidacy for mayor,” said Fahey.
Susan Tobin, the committee’s endorsed candidate, will be challenging
Fahey on Sept. 15 in the Democratic primary.
Fahey’s stance on various issues places her squarely in the
progressive camp in Albany along with Jennings’ mayoral opponent
Councilman Corey Ellis (Ward 3) and Councilman Dominick Calsolaro
Initially, the Democratic Committee endorsed Democrat George
Lynch, who later dropped out. “[Lynch] told me he backed out
because he decided that I was a good candidate, that I was
doing a good job on the council, and he didn’t think it was
fair and he decided to back out,” Fahey said.
Lynch could not be reached for comment.
As reported earlier in Metroland, Calsolaro had a similar
experience in the 1st Ward when, to his surprise, he lost
the Democratic Committee’s endorsement to a relative newcomer,
Scott Mannarino. Calsolaro suggested that it was a play by
Jennings’ supporters to prevent him from campaigning for Ellis
by keeping him busy with a primary.
Tobin, like Mannarino, has Jennings’ support in her bid for
the 7th Ward seat, but said that she has heard of no political
hit job on Fahey within the Democratic Party.
was approached by the Democratic Party, and I was recommended
by a couple of my neighbors,” said Tobin. She also acknowledged
that there was another contender in the ward before the committee
came to her.
know I wasn’t the first choice,” she said.
always been involved in the community,” said Tobin. “I thought
there could be some things I could do better than what was
being done before.”
Tobin claimed that Fahey is out of touch with her community.
a constituent of the 7th Ward,” said Tobin. “I’ve heard no
communication for four years, no opportunities to sign petitions,
[Fahey] never came to my door, never asked my opinion, so
I think that’s unacceptable.”
Fahey countered by citing her involvement in both community
groups in her ward, the Helderberg and Delaware Avenue neighborhood
associations. She said that she also sits on three council
committees that are designed to improve the quality of life
for residents in the ward and the city of Albany.
Fahey said that she feels the main issues facing her are public
safety, youth programs, and continued strengthening of the
commercial district along Delaware Avenue. As for Tobin, Fahey
criticized her for refusing to debate. A date had been set
and agreed to that would have featured both Fahey and Tobin,
as well as the candidates for the 1st Ward.
fact that she didn’t come to the debate,” said Fahey, “made
it difficult to find out what she stands for, and I think
the citizens lose out when someone isn’t available to talk
about the issues.”
Mannarino also skipped out on his opportunity to debate Calsolaro.
Tobin said she informed the organizers of the debate that
she would be unable to attend a week in advance. She also
said that she’s been campaigning on every street in the 7th.
whole plan was to go door-to-door,” said Tobin. “I felt that
I could reach more people doing that, so I kept with the plan,
my original plan.”
Tobin, the director of giving at Albany Academies, said her
experience in health care, education, strategic planning and
fundraising, along with her work in the nonprofit sector,
provide her with the credentials to do a great job as councilwoman.
know how to deal with people. I know how to compromise. I
know how to reach a consensus,” said Tobin.
Fahey said that she believes she’s done a good job as councilwoman
really look at my job on the council as working with residents
and these neighborhood associations,” she said. “The work
that I do on the council reflects what people in my districts
are thinking and what they want to see happen in the neighborhood.”
As for losing the Democratic committee’s endorsement, she
attributes that to the political structure of Albany.
think that the ward leader, Bob Jukes, is very loyal to the
current mayor, and it did matter that I was supporting someone
else,” she said. Fahey said she believes the 7th Ward primary
was “orchestrated” by Jukes and other supporters of Jennings.
Jukes could not be reached for comment by press time.
the mayoral campaign for Corey Ellis released a list of more
than 150 buildings that it said appear to be abandoned yet
do not appear on Mayor Jerry Jennings’ latest Vacant Buildings
Registry. Last month, Jennings held a press conference touting
the success of his Block-by-Block initiative, which he claimed
has led to the reclamation or demolition of more than 300
buildings. The VBR has drawn sharp criticism in the past for
sloppy accounting, and the Ellis campaign has maintained that
the most recent version is equally questionable. To see the
list of questionable buildings, or to add your own, visit
loose ends this week-