Albany democratic mayoral candidates face off in second debate

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The race for Albany mayor is heating up as primary day is just around the corner.

The three democratic candidates for Albany mayor faced off in their second debate Tuesday evening. Common Council Pres. Carolyn McLaughlin and Common Councilor Frank Commisso, Jr. are both looking to unseat incumbent Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

Questions were asked by a panel, which included NEWS10 ABC anchor Elisa Streeter.

The three candidates debated issues facing the city. One hotly contested topic was the recent addition of New York State Troopers on patrol alongside city officers.

“We are sending them the message that you are the bad guys in this neighborhood, and that is not the case,” McLaughlin said.

“I’ve talked to people in certain neighborhoods who say they are grateful to have additional law enforcement in place,” Sheehan said.

“We have some significant work to do to actually solve our crime problems and the violence problems we have in the city of Albany,” Commisso Jr. said.

Two other major issues that seemed to go hand-in-hand were infrastructure and the city’s finances. Commisso Jr. said his big idea will be focused on re-evaluating the use of I-787 through the city.

“So many other cities in the Northeast have used their riverfronts to be a source of commercial development, residential with taxable growth as well,” he said.

McLaughlin wants to focus on a long-term plan for finding the city money for its infrastructure needs.

“What I’d like to propose is that we have a person dedicated just to finding funds to deal with these types of situations in our city,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sheehan touted the project she’s completed this term, including bike lanes throughout the city and vowed to continue finding funding for similar projects if re-elected.

“We have done incredible infrastructure projects, and we have gotten the state to pay for a significant number of those infrastructure projects,” she said.

The primary vote in the race for mayor is September 12.

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