Pat Ryan for Ulster County Executive

Interview with with Pat Ryan about his candidacy for Ulster County Executive.


Original Interview

The Fray: Ryan backs legalized pot in NY, pot stores in Ulster

Democratic Ulster County executive candidate Pat Ryan announced his support for marijuana legalization in New York and for welcoming pot businesses in Ulster, which like other New York counties would have the ability to ban pot stores and farms under an “opt-out” clause in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legalization proposal.

“I believe this represents a tremendous economic opportunity for us, both in terms of boosting our agriculture community and generating additional revenues to support all of our county’s critical programs,” Ryan said in a press release. “As County Executive, I will establish a task force to study how we can responsibly capitalize on this opportunity from an economic standpoint, while ensuring public safety and effective implementation.”

Ryan, who’s running in an April 30 special election to fill the office Mike Hein vacated last month, pledged to work closely with Sheriff Juan Figueroa and other law enforcement officers.

“I’m excited about the myriad advantages to marijuana legalization for our county, from assisting fellow veterans suffering from PTSD to the significant economic impact it will have as a new industry,” Ryan said.

Cuomo’s proposal would allow all 62 counties and municipalities with more than 100,000 people to prohibit any or all of the six reefer business licenses the law would create. Counties that allow pot stores would get a cut of the tax revenue — a 2 percent charge on the weed retailers buy from wholesalers.

Majority support for legalizing marijuana dips in Siena poll

A majority of New Yorkers polled by Siena College still support legalizing pot, but the margin favoring legalization narrowed from 15 percentage points in the college’s January poll to 10 points in survey results released Monday.

In the latest Siena poll, 53 percent of the 700 registered voters surveyed by phone from March 10-14 supported legalization, 43 percent opposed it, and 4 percent took no position. By comparison, the split in January was 56 percent to 41 percent, with 3 percent giving no opinion.

Support among Democratic voters remained strong, at 65 percent. But it dipped slightly among Republican voters — to 36 percent from 39 percent — and dropped to 50 percent from 57 percent among independent and third-party voters. Support also softened among voters ages 18-34 (to 67 percent from 77 percent) and among people earning less than $50,000 a year (to 44 percent from 54 percent).

Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a plan to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana production and sales in his budget proposal in January. Whether the legalization of “adult-use cannabis” remains in the budget due by April 1 or is debated during the post-budget session that is scheduled to end on June 19 remains to be seen.

Original Article

Shawangunk Journal: Special Election For Ulster County Exec Decided

by Paula Sirc

NEW YORK – Patrick Ryan has been racking up the bonafides in his bid to run in a special election, and again in the November election, for an opportunity to become Ulster County’s second county executive since the Charter form of government was adopted in 2008.

Ryan had already picked up endorsements from several towns’ Democratic committees, organized labor (AFL-CIO) and the Ulster County Comptroller, well in advance of the Wednesday night, February 20 convention, when more than 300 Democratic committee and party members braved an ice storm to overwhelmingly endorse him for the post. He bested contender Patrice Courtney-Strong, taking 58 percent of the weighted vote, for a final tally of 16,117 to 11,616.

Since last week’s convention, New York State Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster/Dutchess) also threw his support behind Ryan, citing the candidate’s "vigorous progressive agenda for local governance."

Ryan, a U.S. Army veteran, who attended West Point and served two combat tours in Iraq as an Army Intelligence officer, has never held public office, but cites his military and business experience as credentials for his ability to handle the position.

Now 36-yrs-old, he said he learned leadership at a young age "at West Point, one of the finest academies in the world" and has consistently exhibited it during his military career, and now post-military, after he helped cofound two companies, one now a $25 million software company, Praescient Analytics, which currently employs 150 people.

Ulster County employs 1,300 people and has an annual budget of $330 million.

During the convention and at an earlier event in Kingston City Hall, Ryan spoke to the power of diversity, noting that he brings the experience of uniting people of all walks of life behind a shared sense of purpose and of his plan for the future of the county.

Specifically, he cited the need to create workforce development camps that target the needs of specific companies and train the workforce necessary. Noting that 70 percent of the county constituency lack a college degree, he believes the county needs to focus on other avenues for skills training. He also talked about his personal success in his company with a concept called Tech Boot Camp, where employees undergo intensive training specific to the needs of the business and in so doing, increase their own marketability.

In a phone interview, Ryan spoke of his 10-year vision, including the ability to keep families together in Ulster County. He said he believes programs like PTECH through BOCES are effective and need to be scaled up. He also spoke to the need for Ulster to invest in green technology jobs and be ready to jump on the marijuana market, coming to our area soon.

Since the convention, Strong has suspended her campaign but Ryan will likely still face a primary challenge in June from Jeff Moran, who served as Woodstock supervisor from 2008 to 2011.
The County Executive vacancy was created when Mike Hein stepped down earlier this month to accept a position in the Cuomo administration as acting commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Per the terms of the Charter government, Acting County Executive, Adele Reiter, will serve in the position until an elected official takes office. The Charter unequivocally states that a special election for the county executive position occur no longer than 90 days from the date the vacancy occurs.

Where the chronicles fall silent, however, is whose responsibility it is to call for the special election. The Charter states that the special election "called hereunder shall be set forth in election law for notice of a general election," but fails to define who actually calls the election.

Some legislators are using this perceived flaw as a means to forestall the election until November. They contend that since the Republicans put no candidate up for the post during their convention, the county should save the estimated $200,000-300,000 costs to hold a special election and wait until November. Legislature attorneys say the charter includes a provision that "empowers," but does not demand that the Legislature act.

Legislature Chair Tracey Bartels held a special meeting on Tuesday, February 26, where members debated the resolution before putting it to vote.

Two speakers addressed the chambers with concerns about the resolution.

Lee Kalish, of Kingston, called the process flawed and said the time frame is too tight and that people won’t show up for a special election.

The second speaker was Jeff Moran, who has declared himself a candidate to primary Ryan in June. "If we spend $220,000 [on this election], we will be pissing it away for no real reason," he said.
Republican Minority Leader Ken Ronk urged lawmakers to "exercise common sense" instead of spending taxpayer money for an "unopposed vanity election."

Majority Leader Jonathan Heppner shot back, saying, "Vanity is certainly in politics, but not when it comes to protecting democracy."

Lynn Archer, D-Rochester, said, "As legislators, we swear duty to the Charter. It’s not incumbent on us to choose which parts of it to follow."

When the vote was called, the body voted 16-4 in favor of Resolution 81, setting the date for a special election on April 30, 2019.

Lawmakers from across the aisle called on the body to act immediately to revise the language in the Charter to clarify what entity is responsible for calling for a special election.

Following the vote, Pat Ryan’s campaign released a statement saying that voters will be able to select their next county executive in nine weeks and that he’ll spend the next two months "talking with voters and laying out a policy vision that will improve the lives of working families in our county."

Ryan announced his campaign’s formal kickoff will be on Saturday, March 1, in New Paltz at 11:30 a.m.

Original Article

HV1: Ryan Express set to roll into county exec’s office

by Jesse J. Smith

The race to become Ulster’s next county executive has begun to take shape with one — maybe two — Democratic candidates and an April 30 special election to fill the post through the remainder of 2019.

Pat Ryan holds the Democratic Party endorsement and will appear on the April ballot.  Former Woodstock town supervisor and Democrat Jeff Moran said he is weighing a run against Ryan in a June 25 primary for the Democratic Party line on the November ballot. Republicans ended their Feb. 23 convention without a candidate for county executive.

The 2019 campaign season will feature an unusual double election to succeed former county executive Mike Hein, who resigned Feb. 10 to take a post in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. The first, scheduled for April 30, will determine who will be county executive for the remainder of Hein’s term, which ends Dec. 31. The second, on Nov. 5, will decide who will hold the seat for a full-four year term. Hein’s former chief of staff, Adele Reiter, is serving as acting county executive pending the special election.

On Tuesday, Feb. 26 three Republicans joined all 11 Democrats present at a special meeting of the County Legislature to schedule the special election as called for in the County Charter by a vote of 14-6. The vote turned aside an effort, endorsed by the Democratic and Republican county committee chairmen, to pre-empt the special election and choose a new county executive in November. The special election is expected to cost more than $300,000 and the winner will serve a term of just eight months. Proponents of skipping the special election also noted that the candidate selection process for it relies on party insiders rather than a primary open to rank-and-file members. (Party officials can place a candidate on the ballot via a “certificate of nomination”; the only other route onto the April ballot is via an independent run that will require the candidate to collect 1,500 valid signatures from Ulster County voters and submit them to election officials no later than March 11.)

As of Feb. 27, the only declared candidate in the race is 36 year-old Pat Ryan of Gardiner. At the county Dems’ Feb. 20 nominating convention, Ryan beat out Kingston businesswoman Pat Courtney Strong by a margin of 16,117 to 11,660 in weighted voting. (In a nominating convention, each committee member gets a vote that’s “weighted” based on how many people in their district cast ballots on the Democratic Party line in the last gubernatorial election). Last week, Strong, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate against incumbent Republican George Amedore last year, announced that she was dropping her bid for County Executive.

Ryan is a Kingston native, a West Point graduate and veteran of two tours in Iraq where he served as an infantry battalion intelligence officer. After leaving the military and earning a degree in security studies at Georgetown University, Ryan went to work at a series of companies developing intelligence gathering and analysis software for the military and law enforcement.

Last year, Ryan was runner up in a seven-way primary for the Democratic Party line in race for New York’s 19th Congressional District. Antonio Delgado, who won the primary and went on to defeat Republican incumbent Republican John Faso, endorsed Ryan’s county executive candidacy this week. Ryan has also received endorsements from Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa.

In a speech accepting the Democratic nomination, Ryan, who during his congressional campaign was viewed as a moderate, laid out a progressive agenda calling for environmental, social and economic justice.

“There are too many people in our county who still worry if they will be able to make their rent this month or save enough for their family’s healthcare,” Ryan told a crowd of about 300 party officials and observers at the Feb. 20 convention at the Best Western in Kingston. “We’ve got big corporations still seeking to come in and pollute our environment and build dirty energy projects in our towns. We’ve still got (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents coming in and arresting our neighbors at the foot of their driveway while they’re getting their kids ready for school. That is unacceptable in Ulster County and in 2019 it’s going to change.”

Quigley still won’t run

Ryan will walk into the county executive’s office on May 1 unopposed unless Republicans field an opponent. At the county GOP’s Feb. 23 nominating convention at Ulster Town Hall, nobody stepped forward to claim the spot. An early favorite, Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley III, told party leaders that he would not accept the nomination or run for the office. Quigley cited a “full plate” of issues in the town and Republicans’ dwindling prospects in a county where Democratic enrollment has surged in recent years. 

“The issue is that the population in Ulster County doesn’t want Republicans,” said Quigley.  “They won’t support them.” 

But Ulster County Republican Committee Chairman Roger Rascoe expressed confidence that the party would field a nominee for both the April special election and the November general. Rascoe said that he had spoken to people interested leading the GOP slate and blamed the delay on a political calendar that was accelerated in January when state lawmakers voted to shift New York’s primary election from its traditional date in September to June 25. 

“They sprang this early petition season on us,” said Rascoe. “You don’t turn around today and say you’re running for county executive tomorrow. People don’t just rush into spending all of that time and effort without a plan.” 

Moran mulls challenge

While Republicans wait to announce their choice, Woodstock Democrat Jeff Moran said that he is considering taking on Ryan in a June 25th primary election. (Editors note: Moran is married to Ulster Publishing photographer Dion Ogust.) Moran, 66, has a background in software development and writing and producing for television. He served as Woodstock’s town supervisor from 2008 to 2011. He previously served on the Woodstock planning board and on the town’s Democratic Committee. Moran said he did not seek the Democratic nomination at the Feb. 20 convention because he believed he could not have won in a contest determined by 300 Democratic committee members.  Ryan and Strong, he noted, were coming off of high-profile campaigns in 2018 that they had “rolled over” into their county executive runs.

“I’d be a spoiler,” said Moran. “I would have taken votes away from one or the other without accomplishing anything.” 

Moran said without a Republican opponent, Ryan’s win at the convention was effectively the “coronation” of a candidate with no experience in elected office at any level. Moran said he planned to take a week to gauge support for his candidacy before deciding whether to undertake a petition campaign for a spot in the June 25 primary. If he does enter the race, he will have until April 4 to gather 750 petition signatures from registered Ulster County Democrats to earn a spot on the primary ballot. 

“The county deserves an executive with deep experience in both the public and private sectors,” said Moran.

Original Article

Daily Freeman: Ulster Comptroller Auerbach ends speculation that he might enter county executive race

by Freeman Staff

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach has put an end to speculation that he might run for county executive by endorsing fellow Democrat Pat Ryan.

Ryan, a Gardiner resident and former congressional candidate, is one of three Democrats seeking the party's nomination to run in the upcoming special election. The others are former state senate candidate Pat Courtney Strong, of Kingston, and former town Woodstock supervisor Jeff Moran. The party will pick its candidate at a nominating convention on Wednesday.

No Republican has declared a candidacy for the job. The GOP nominating convention is scheduled for Saturday.

The special election, to be held no later than mid-May, will pick a successor to Democrat Michael Hein, who stepped down as Ulster County executive a week ago to become commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Former Hein Chief of Staff Adele Reiter is serving as acting county executive until the winner of the special election is certified.

There then will be a regular election for county executive in November for the term of Jan. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2023. County Democratic leaders have said they will endorse the same person to run in the special election and the November race, though whoever is chosen by the party for the November election could face a primary in June.

In endorsing Ryan, Auerbach said in a prepared statement Monday: “I look forward to working with him along with the 27 other elected officials who not only represent the county but also the interests of the taxpayers. I am thrilled to join labor, numerous Democratic Committees, and elected official who have all recognized what I have in Ryan’s leadership capabilities."

Though members of the same party, Auerbach and Hein often clashed over county issues.

Original Article

HV1: Ulster Dems pick Ryan for county exec

by Jesse J. Smith

Pat Ryan scored a decisive victory in his bid to become Ulster’s next county executive when the county’s Democratic Committee handed him the nomination and a spot on the ballot in an upcoming special election. In weighted voting at the Best Western in Kingston, Ryan beat out fellow Democrat Pat Courtney Strong 16,117 to 11,660.

The nomination means that Ryan will be the Democratic candidate in a special election to fill out the remainder of former County Executive Mike Hein’s term, which ends on Dec. 31. Hein resigned earlier this month to take a post as the commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. A general election on Nov. 5 will elect a county executive for a full four-year term. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not set a date for the special election; according to the county charter, the election must be held no later than May 8.

Ryan is a 36-year-old graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who served two tours in Iraq as a battalion intelligence officer. He was a senior vice president of Dataminr, a technology company that produces intelligence-gathering software, and founded Praescient Analytics, which provides software used by the military to protect troops overseas. He no longer works for either company.

Last year, he was a runner-up in a seven-way primary for the 19th Congressional District seat currently occupied by Democrat Antonio Delgado. Ryan is a Kingston native who currently resides in Gardiner.

He faced a challenge from Strong, a 63-year-old Kingston businesswoman with a background in green energy. In 2018 Strong ran an unsuccessful campaign against state Senator George Amedore (R-Rotterdam). Following Wednesday’s vote, Strong declined to rule out or rule in a primary campaign against Ryan for the Democratic Party line in the November general election.

“Unknown at this point, unknown,” said Strong when asked if she would compete in the June 25 primary. The name of former Woodstock town supervisor Jeff Moran, who says he will run in the primary, was not placed in nomination at the convention.

Ryan meanwhile invoked Ulster County Democrats’ triumphant 2018 campaign season while outlining a progressive vision for the county’s future. “We’re going to harness that energy that we brought out in 2018 and we’re seeing so far and the message that we’ve had in this campaign of environmental justice, of social justice of economic justice,” said Ryan. We need to take that message to every corner and every one of the 24 towns and villages and municipalities in this count.”

Along with Ryan, The Democratic Committee endorsed two other candidates for countywide office. Facing no opposition, attorney Bryan Rounds of the Town of Ulster was nominated for County Court judge while another veteran of the 2018 congressional primary, trial attorney David Clegg of Woodstock, was nominated for district attorney. The Ulster County Republican Committee will meet on Saturday, Feb. 23 to choose their candidates for the 2019 election season.

Original Article

Record Online: Ulster County Democratic Committee nominates Pat Ryan

by Matthew Nanci

KINGSTON — Pat Ryan, runner-up in last year’s seven-way Democratic primary for the 19th Congressional District, won the Ulster County Democratic Committee’s nomination for county executive Wednesday night.

Ryan beat out Kingston businesswoman Pat Strong, a 2018 state Senate candidate and former Woodstock Supervisor Jeff Moran.

“I’m honored to be your nominee for County Executive,” Ryan said in Facebook post. “Lots more work ahead, and I’m excited to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you all to do it. Thanks also to my family, my incredible team, and everyone who supported our campaign.”

The county executive job opened this month when Mike Hein announced he would be leaving the office he held for 10 years to take a position as commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Adele Reiter, a deputy county executive and Hein’s former chief of staff, is serving as acting county executive until a successor is elected – either in a special election or the general election in November.

Ulster Republicans will hold their convention on Feb. 23 and have not revealed any prospective candidates.

Original Article

Daily Freeman: Democrats endorse Pat Ryan to run for Ulster County executive

by Patricia R. Doxsey

KINGSTON — Former Democratic congressional candidate Pat Ryan could be on his way to becoming the next Ulster County executive.

Ryan, of Gardiner, defeated fellow Democrat Pat Courtney Strong for the party nomination by a weighted vote of 16,117 to 11,616 during the Ulster County Democratic convention Wednesday evening at the Best Western Plus hotel on Washington Avenue in Kingston.

Ryan's victory means he will hold the Democratic line in a special election that tentatively is planned for April 30 and will be the party's nominee for the Democratic line in November's general election.

Republicans are scheduled to hold their convention this coming Saturday, Feb. 23, though no one in the GOP has announced plans to run for county executive.

On Tuesday, Ken Ronk, the Ulster County Legislature's minority leader, said the Democratic pick for the seat is likely to run unopposed in the special election.

Ryan, who finished second in last year's seven-person Democratic primary in New York's 19th Congressional District, promised Democratic committee members on Wednesday that, if elected county executive, he will continue to push the party's "progressive agenda" of environmental, social and economic justice.

"There are too many people in this county that still worry about whether they'll be able to make their rent this month, save enough to pay for their family's health care," he said. "We've got big corporations still seeking to come in and pollute our environment. We've got ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents still coming in and arresting our neighbors at the foot of their driveways while they're getting their kids ready for school.

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MidHudsonNews: Democrats nominate Patrick Ryan for Ulster County executive

KINGSTON – Patrick Ryan, a former congressional primary candidate from the 2018 election, won the Democratic nomination for Ulster County executive Wednesday night, at the 2019 annual county convention in Kingston. He beat opponent Patrice Strong 16,117 to 11,616 in weighted votes.

“My palms have been sweaty all night, I’m not going to lie,” Ryan told the packed house. He thanked his supporters on the committee, his family, labor unions, staff and volunteers, and also his opponents. “We all ran issue-driven campaigns, with integrity.”

“There are too many people in our county still worried about whether they will be able to make their rent this month, save enough to pay for their family’s healthcare,” Ryan said. “We’ve got big corporations still seeking to come in and pollute our environment building dirty energy projects in our towns. We’ve got ICE agents still coming in arresting our neighbors at the foot of their driveways while they are getting their kids ready for school. That is unacceptable in Ulster County in 2019, and we’re going to change that.”

Acting Ulster County Executive, Adele Reiter, assumed office earlier this month when the county’s first elected executive, Michael Hein left his seat after a decade to take a job as commissioner in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet. A special election is set for April 30, as per county charter, but some county legislators question whether it will actually take place, due to vagueness in the charter language.

Neither Ryan nor Strong possesses any prior experience working in county government, nor has either been elected to public office before.

In other races, Bryan Rounds was nominated for Ulster County Court judge; and David Clegg for Ulster County district attorney. The two Republican incumbents are retiring.

The Republican county committee nominating convention is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, February 23.

New Democrat faces on the ballot this November for the Ulster County Legislature include Aaron Levin (Dist. 1); Chris Allen (Dist. 2); Ronald Miller (Dist. 4); Abe Uchitelle (Dist. 5); Peter Criswell. (Dist. 7); Russell Gilmore (Dist. 10); Mici Simonofsky (Dist. 11); Betty Diorio (Dist. 12); Carolyn Hansen (Dist. 18); and Eve Walter (Dist. 20).

The incumbent Democrat legislators were all re-nominated, except for Lynn Eckert in Dist. 5; and Hector Rodriguez in Dist. 20, both of whom opted out of running again in 2019. Districts 3, 9, 13 and 14 had no nominations.

In the City of Kingston, Don Tallerman was nominated for 5th Ward alderman, to replace outgoing Democrat William Carey; and Michele Hirsch for 9th Ward Alderman, to replace Andrea Shaut -- who will now be running for alderman-at-large to replace outgoing James Noble. The other incumbent aldermen were all re-nominated.

Beside the county executive race, the only Democrat challenged by another Democrat all evening was Chris Allen, who beat John Schoonmaker 629 to 521.

Original Article

Daily Freeman: Marc Rider drops out of Ulster County executive race, backs Pat Ryan

by Patricia R. Doxsey

KINGSTON – Democrat Marc Rider has dropped his bid to be elected Ulster County executive.

Rider, currently a deputy county executive, announced his decision Tuesday and said he instead will support Gardiner Democrat Pat Ryan.

“I entered this race with the idea that I would continue the good work begun by [former] County Executive Mike Hein, while also sharing my own vision for making Ulster County a more equitable place for all residents,” Rider, a Rifton resident, said in a prepared statement. But campaigning for the office requires a full-time commitment, “and my full-time job is serving the people of this county that I love," he said.

“I feel I could have won, but I would have had to step away from my current position,” he added.

Rider said he intends to work on Ryan’s campaign, and, if Ryan is elected, will be a deputy county executive in the Ryan administration.

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MidHudsonNews: Democrat contenders for Ulster exec speak in Kingston

KINGSTON – Three of the four declared Democratic candidates for Ulster County executive appeared Sunday afternoon at a public forum hosted by the Ulster County Democratic Committee, in a packed room at Kingston City Hall.

Marc Rider, a current deputy county executive, took turns speaking with Patrice Strong, and Patrick Ryan, who were both former candidates in the previous 2018 election. Jeff Moran, a former Woodstock town supervisor, did not appear.

A rushed and somewhat confusing special election process began last Friday, when Michael Hein officially stepped down from his position as county executive, to take a seat in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet as acting commissioner of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The move was first announced on Jan. 4th.

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hv1: "More hopefuls dive into Ulster exec race"

by Jesse J. Smith / January 18, 2019


Pat Courtney Strong

Three Democrats have officially jumped into the race to replace County Executive Mike Hein, hoping to get an early lead in the process of wooing a few hundred town committee members who will select a candidate to run in a special election later this year. On the Republican side, one veteran elected official said that he’s weighing a run, in part because he’s alarmed by the lack of experience among the presumptive frontrunners.

Hein’s announcement earlier this month that he would step down to take a job as state commissioner of Temporary and Disability Services set off a dash among Democrats to capture the party’s banner in what will be a compressed election season. Under the county charter, a new executive must be elected via a special election within 90 days of the office becoming vacant. While Hein must still be confirmed by the state Senate, most observers believe he will likely leave office by the end of the month or early February. In the absence of a primary, county Democratic Party leaders have said they expect to hold a convention to nominate a candidate for the special election. Republican leaders say the county executive committee will choose a candidate.

Pat Ryan

Two candidates were first to declare for the race for the Democratic nomination. Patrick Ryan, a 36-year-old former Army officer, and tech entrepreneur, and Pat Courtney Strong, a 63-year-old clean energy consultant. 

A third, Deputy County Executive Mark Rider, entered the race on Jan. 14. 

Both Ryan and Strong are veterans of the 2018 election cycle. Ryan was runner-up in a hard-fought seven-way Democratic primary for the 19th Congressional District seat eventually won by Antonio Delgado. Strong ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat state Sen. George Amedore (R-Rotterdam).

Original Article

Times Heard-Record: 3 consider possible run for Hein’s position in Ulster County

By Chirs Mckenna

Two recent Democratic congressional candidates and a Republican town supervisor are considering running in a special election for Ulster County executive to replace 10-year incumbent Mike Hein when he leaves to oversee a state agency.

Hein, a Democrat, was named commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance on Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and plans to resign his county office once the state Senate confirms his appointment.

As long as that happens in the next four months or so, Ulster must hold a special election within 90 days of the resignation to fill the office until Hein’s term concludes at the end of 2019.

There would be a second election in November for a four-year term as county executive.

Because of the tight time frame, candidates for the special election would be chosen by Ulster County’s Democratic and Republican committees through nominating conventions, rather than through the usual political process of filing petitions and holding primaries if necessary.

Pat Ryan, who finished second out of seven Democratic contenders in a primary last year for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat, has given the most definitive statement on the coming race, declaring his candidacy in a statement on Saturday and promising on Monday that he will refuse campaign contributions from corporations and limited-liability companies.

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WAMC: One Declares, Others Ponder A Run For Ulster County Exec

by Allison Dunne

With the announcement Friday that Ulster County Executive Mike Hein will be stepping down to take a position in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, a number of potential contenders are coming forward. Some campaigned for another office last year.

Hein, a Democrat, is the county’s first executive and has been in the post since 2009, following a change in the county charter that created the position. His third term would have run through the end of this year. Cuomo nominated Hein to lead the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Now, a number of county residents say they are considering a run. And the runner-up among the seven Democratic candidates in last year’s 19th congressional district primary has declared he’s all in — Gardiner resident Pat Ryan.

“Well, I ‘m excited to be the first and, I think, the only candidate to declare, and I think that’s exactly the kind of leadership that’s expected in this role,” says Ryan. “I have a clear vision to lead us forward. I’m confident in that, and that’s why in pretty short order I wanted to make that known and get to work to get our message out and to get out there and listen to folks. And the response has just been incredible. A lot of the great support I had during the congressional campaign is still there and my phone’s been ringing off the hook with folks excited to volunteer and to support us.”

Ryan, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served as an Army officer in Iraq, says he will not accept any corporate PAC or LLC money. Within a few hours of Hein’s Friday announcement, another 19th congressional district Democratic primary candidate who finished behind Ryan by just some 50 votes, says he is seriously considering making a bid — Gareth Rhodes.

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DAILY FREEMAN: Former Democratic congressional candidate Pat Ryan declares candidacy for Ulster County exec post

by Paul Kirby

KINGSTON, N.Y. — Pat Ryan of Gardiner, a U.S. Army veteran who made an unsuccessful bid last year for the Democratic nomination for the 19th Congressional District seat, says he will run for Ulster County executive.

While Ryan formally declared his candidacy Saturday, Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach, also a Democrat, said he will decide this week whether to enter the race for county executive.

Auerbach said he is giving the matter “serious consideration,” while reaching out to local Democratic committees and other party circles for opinions.

Auerbach had originally stated his intention to consider running late Friday, several hours after current County Executive Michael Hein said he'd be leaving the position he's held for 10 years to take a job in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration as commissioner of the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

The executive long has been at odds with Auerbach, a fellow Democrat, regarding several issues. They recently battled over funding for the Comptroller's Office and over allegations that employees of Auerbach's improperly accessed county Finance Department computer files.

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