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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