As many Albany County officials approach the end of their terms and the general election Nov. 6, they have to decide if they want to run for re-election.
According to information provided by the Albany County Clerk’s Office, the county coroner, attorney, sheriff, clerk, treasurer, assessor, clerk of District Court and two county commission positions are up for grabs this year.
One of the two county commission seats up for re-election is currently held by Chairman Tim Chesnut. He said officials have a lot to consider when deciding if they want to stay or leave. During previous election years, Chesnut said he thought about projects he worked on in the County Commission he wanted to see through. This year, the Pilot Hill land purchase might be a project that prompts commissioners to run for re-election.
“You get agendas and things that you want to see happen, (such as) the Pilot Peak land sale might come up in our minds, as we decide to run for office, to see if we can get that land deal all the way through,” Chesnut said.
Potential candidates for county positions have from May 17 to June 1 to file the paperwork for their candidacy. Some officials, such as Albany County Commissioner Heber Richardson and Treasure Linda Simpson, said they are not ready to say if they would be running for re-election at this time.
Chesnut, Treasurer Linda Simpson and County Coroner Jennifer Graham are also not sure if they will attempt to hold office, they said.
“I am still up in the air about (if I’ll run for office),” Chesnut said. “I have some other things I am working on that I’m going to see come in time. I am not ruling anything out but I have not made any concrete decisions at this point.”
Clerk of District Court Janice Sexton first ran for office in 2002 and said the elections she’s experienced have changed a lot with advances in technology and fluctuating numbers of candidates. She said she campaigned hard to stand above the other four candidates when she first ran for office, but four years later no one ran against her.
“(My first time running for office), we got a list of all the Republicans in the county and I made little brochures and mailed them out to them,” she said. “I did not have any opposition my second time, but I still put out yard signs and did a little bit advertising with the paper because I didn’t want to assume anything.”
Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent, Sheriff Dave O’Malley, Clerk Jackie Gonzales, Assessor Grant Showacre and Sexton all said they are running for office again are often doing so because of the effects on the community their offices are having, which makes them feel good about the job.
“These last four years have been rewarding and I am proud of my accomplishments of our collaborative efforts between my office and the community,” Trent writes in an email. “I want to continue to serve as the Albany County and Prosecuting Attorney to enhance these partnerships and work together on new initiatives.”
People who want to file for a county office can do so at the Albany County Clerk’s office for $25 May 17-June 1.