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