Kathy Sheehan


Kathy Sheehan
75th Mayor of Albany
Assumed office
January 1, 2014
Preceded byGerald Jennings
Personal details
Born (1963-12-05) December 5, 1963 (age 56)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Robert Sheehan
EducationBowling Green State University (BA)
Albany Law School (JD)

Katherine "Kathy" Sheehan (born December 5, 1963)[1] is the current Mayor of Albany, New York. Prior to being elected Mayor, Sheehan served as City Treasurer from 2010 to 2013. On September 10, 2013, she defeated Corey Ellis in the Democratic primary for mayor of Albany. She later won the general election, becoming the first female mayor in Albany's history. She was re-elected in 2017.

Early life, education, and early career

Sheehan was born outside Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the Midwest. She is one of six children.[2]

Sheehan earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University in 1985.[3] In 1994, she graduated from Albany Law School of Union University, New York.[4] After obtaining her J.D. degree, she began working in the Albany office of Bond, Schoeneck & King.[2] In 1996, Sheehan took a position at Intermagnetics General Corporation in Latham, New York;[4] she helped to negotiate the sale of the company to Philips Medical Systems.[2]

In 2009, Sheehan was elected City Treasurer of Albany, New York.[5]

Mayor of Albany

On November 17, 2012, Sheehan announced herself as a 2013 candidate for mayor.[6] In May 2013, longtime Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings announced that he would not seek a sixth term in the fall elections.[7] Sheehan defeated former Common Councilor Corey Ellis in a Democratic mayoral primary on September 10, 2013.[8] Sheehan won the Democratic nomination with 7,468 votes (65.72%) to Ellis's 3,294 votes (29%).[9] On November 5, 2013, Sheehan won the general election with over 83% of the total vote.[10] When she took office on January 1, 2014, she became the first female mayor in the history of the city.[11]

During Sheehan's tenure, the city's total debt decreased from $140.1 million in 2014 to $106.8 million in 2018.[12] The city installed red-light cameras at various intersections in 2015.[13][14] In 2017, Sheehan announced a $1 million vacant building grant program.[15]

In February 2017, Sheehan--along with Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and Congressman Paul Tonko--was criticized by Bishop Edward Scharfenberger for supporting and attending a rally for Planned Parenthood despite being a Roman Catholic politician.[16]

In her 2017 re-election bid, Sheehan faced opposition from Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and Common Councilor Frank Commisso Jr. in the Democratic primary. Sheehan won the primary with 51 percent of the vote.[17] Sheehan was re-elected Mayor on November 7, 2017, winning 70 percent of the vote; Commisso received 22 percent of the vote as an independent candidate.[18]

Personal life

Sheehan and her husband, Bob, were married in 1992.[19] The Sheehans have an adopted son named Jay. On April 11, 2017, Christopher Hardy--Jay's biological older brother--was shot to death.[20] In January 2018, the Sheehans purchased a house in the Ten Broeck Triangle section of the Arbor Hill neighborhood with the intention of renovating and moving into the home.[21] After extensive repairs and rehabilitation which included gutting the entire interior, the oouple moved in at the end of the following year.


  1. ^ Pollack, Elena. "From Fur Trade to Nanotech: An Interview With Mayor Kathy Sheehan". ahsthenest.com. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c February 21, TU Magazines on; PM, 2014 at 5:29 (February 21, 2014). "On the Cover: Meet Albany's first woman mayor". Capital Region Women@Work.
  3. ^ "Life after Jerry: Albany mayoral candidate, Kathy Sheehan". Albany Business Review. May 24, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Bump, Bethany (November 5, 2013). "Kathy Sheehan to become Albany's first female mayor | The Daily Gazette". dailygazette.com.
  5. ^ Carleo-Evangelist, Jordan (November 13, 2012). "Sheehan spurs mayoral speculation". Times Union.
  6. ^ Kristen V. Brown (November 19, 2012). "Sheehan announces bid for Albany mayor". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Benjamin, Ian (May 15, 2013). "DOCUMENT: Officials react to Jennings' decision not to run for re-election". The Record. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  8. ^ Danielle Sanzone (September 10, 2013). "Sheehan wins Albany Mayor primary; Shahinfar is the city's next treasurer". The Record (Troy). Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "OFFICIAL RECANVASS (2013 primary)" (PDF). Albany County Board of Elections. September 25, 2013. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
  10. ^ "Albany County Election Results (2013)". app.albanycounty.com.
  11. ^ Sanzone, Danielle (January 2, 2014). "Sheehan inaugurated as Albany's first female mayor". The Record.
  12. ^ "In last four years, Albany cuts total debt by 24 percent - TimesUnion.com". www.timesunion.com. March 2, 2018.
  13. ^ Redick, Geoff (July 20, 2015). "Red Light Cameras Go Live in Albany". Spectrum News.
  14. ^ Carleo-Evangelist, Jordan (May 10, 2014). "Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan: Red-light cams about safety". Times Union.
  15. ^ Lucas, Dave (April 18, 2017). "Albany Mayor Announces $1,000,000 Vacant Building Grant Program". www.wamc.org.
  16. ^ Churchill, Chris (February 16, 2017). "Churchill: Bishop scolds Catholic politicians who stood with Planned Parenthood". Albany Times-Union. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Lucas, Dave (September 13, 2017). "Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan Cruises In Three-Way Democratic Primary". www.wamc.org.
  18. ^ "Albany County Election Results (2017)". app.albanycounty.com.
  19. ^ "Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy - A National Leader in Public Affairs Education - University at Albany - SUNY". www.albany.edu.
  20. ^ Brendan J. Lyons and Emily Masters (April 12, 2017). "Albany homicide victim has family connection to Mayor Sheehan". Albany Times-Union. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  21. ^ "Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan buys fixer-upper in Arbor Hill". Times Union. January 11, 2018.

External links

  • Office of the city treasurer
  • Mayoral campaign
Political offices
Preceded by
Gerald Jennings
Mayor of Albany