The race for Albany County Executive is on
By Pat Gareau
Incumbent Dan McCoy (D-Albany) is facing off against candidates Joseph Vitollo (R- Coeymans) and Dan Platt (Green Party-Albany) in the race for Albany County Executive.
While McCoy ran unopposed in his first election in 2011, this year he faced a contentious Democratic primary against Dan Egan (D-Albany), which McCoy was able to win with 60 percent of the vote.
McCoy is a heavy favorite to be reelected, and one of the things he would like to do in his second term is engage University at Albany students. He believes it is important for students at the university to be aware of what is going on in the surrounding area.
“You need to pay attention to where you live because you are part of the community,” McCoy said about students. A specific example that he said had been considered by his team is to partner with the university to provide a bus tour of the area to new students at the beginning of each academic year.
McCoy said the county government already interacts with the university in many areas including emergency services, and described the relationship between the two entities as a “partnership.”
McCoy, an Iraq War veteran, was a firefighter before being sworn in as Albany County Executive in 2012.
Dan Platt, who was involved with Occupy Albany while the group was active, said he is running to “occupy the ballot.” He said, “I didn’t want Dan McCoy to run unopposed.”
Platt wants to localize the economy and introduce participatory budgeting in to the process, where funds are set aside to be voted on at the community level. He believes the government should take a more active role in producing food and energy locally. Platt hopes to make progress on these issues over the long term and wants to reach out more to younger residents of Albany County.
Vitollo, 59, currently works as a registered nurse.
UAlbany College Republicans President Pat Cronin believes the Republican’s lack of competitiveness in this election is due to insufficient outreach in urban communities. “There is nothing about Republican ideas that are antithetical to urban voters. It’s not a policy issue, it’s more of an approach and messaging issue,” Cronin said.
Vitollo and Platt have each spent less than $1,000 on the election, while McCoy has spent over $400,000, as reported by the Albany Times Union.