Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, appearing on Talk 1300 Saturday, said Matt Clyne has decided to step down as Democratic Party chairman and from his post as Board of Elections commissioner.
Stepping down as chair - an unpaid, largely thankless job - comes as no surprise after he got trounced in his re-election bid to a committee seat on Primary Day and likely wouldn't win re-election anyway. But as BOE commissioner he earned $88,000 and the spot is filled by Democrats on the Legislature.
Clyne could not immediately be reached for comment.
McCoy would not say who he would like to see as the next county chair or take over as the party’s representative at the Board of Elections. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, who has called for Clyne’s ouster and heads up the “progressive” faction of Democrats, could not be reached for comment.
The intraparty rift between the old line Democrats, of which Clyne is a part and McCoy is tied into, and the progressive Democrats came to a head when Clyne tried to bounce off the ballot a slate of judicial delegates in an effort to ensure the Supreme Court nomination went to Legislator Justin Cocoran.
The strategy failed, the courts put the ousted slate of delegates back on the ballot and, according to the Times Union, won at least 17 of the 30 primaries. Those delegates will likely back Albany County Family Court Judge Margaret “Peggy” Walsh for Supreme Court at the judicial nominating convention later this month.
Walsh is also running for re-election to her spot on Family Court. It seems to contradict one of the biggest grips Sheehan and the “progressive” faction of Democrats have is that not enough people – read that “their people” – were benefitting from party controlled jobs.
Walsh cannot wear both robes at the same time, so should she get the nod at the judicial nominating convention the Democrats will hold on Sept. 19, she may have to drop out of the Family Court race and allow the committee to fill vacancies to fill the slot. Petitions for the three-person committee were circulated in June along with other nominating petitions.
The organizational meeting, where the party will pick Clyne’s replacement, will occur before the end of the month.
The county committee won’t have the choice of choosing Clyne, but who they do pick could swing towards the “progressive” Democrats or the old guard. Some names bantered about include Common Council President Carolynn McLaughlin, the party’s secretary, who the TU described as not fitting in nicely with either faction and County Legislature Noelle Kinsch, the wife of city Treasurer Darius Shahinfar.
Who is picked for Family Court Judge to replace Walsh is not clear at this time. As is who will replace Clyne at the Board of Elections.