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.

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