Voters in NY-19 faced two elections in the August primary. One was a special election to fill the remaining months of Rep. Anthony Delgado’s term since he was tapped to serve as the state’s lieutenant governor. Ulster County executive Pat Ryan ran and won, filling that post which ends in January.
But redistricting prompted Ryan to seek a full-term seat in the newly drawn NY-18 (which now includes most of the big cities in the Hudson Valley) in the fall. So Ryan ran and won in NY-18’s Democratic primary.
NY-18 is rated D+1 but is deemed a tossup.
As a cadet at West Point, Pat Ryan learned and lived by the West Point motto: Duty, Honor, Country. He’s running for Congress to bring that ethos to Washington, where it is desperately needed. As Ryan has said, “I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I always perceived the greatest threat to be foreign, but it is clear with right-wing attacks on our democracy, women’s healthcare, and our ability to keep guns off our streets, we must stand up to domestic extremists.”
His Republican opponent, Colin Schmitt, voted against expanding legal protections for abortion providers in the state assembly. While Ryan has stated his support for assault weapons in the hands of civilians, Schmitt’s response after the Uvalde tragedy was to call for more school resource officers.
Ryan is a fifth-generation Ulster County native, decorated combat veteran, small business owner, and county executive who lives in Gardiner with his wife Rebecca and two young children, Theo and Cameron. Ryan’s life has been shaped by a desire to serve his community. His mom, Patti, was a public school teacher at Chambers Elementary School, and his father, Kevin, ran a small business in Kingston, where Ryan grew up. They taught their son that we have an obligation to give back to our community and to take care of everyone in it – especially the most vulnerable among us.
After graduating from Kingston High School, Ryan began his service, attending West Point and deploying for two combat tours in Iraq as an Army intelligence officer. After leaving the military, he founded a small technology company, which grew to over 150 employees. As an executive, Ryan managed a $25 million annual budget and worked to build partnerships with government and nonprofit organizations. He implemented worker-focused policies like paid family leave and created a jobs training program for veterans without college degrees, equipping them with tech skills to ensure they had high-paying jobs.
Elected Ulster County Executive in 2019, Ryan led the county through a once-in-a-century pandemic. He also spearheaded the effort to transform the former IBM site after decades of dormancy, provided direct financial relief to small businesses and residents, built supportive and affordable housing, and re-investing in mental health services – all while never raising taxes.
ON THE ISSUES
In a recently released ad, Ryan indicates his support for a woman’s right to choose by saying, “How can we be a free country if the government tries to control women’s bodies? That’s not the country I fought to defend. Freedom includes a woman’s right to choose. Period.” He made abortion rights the centerpiece of his recent special election win in the 19th.
Having carried weapons of war in combat, Ryan understands the devastating power they can inflict. He has called for the passage of common sense gun reforms including, red flag laws, assault weapons ban, and universal background checks.
As County Executive, Ryan has been a national leader in taking climate action, committing to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030, putting the county’s first electric buses on the road, and starting the Ulster County Green Careers Academy at SUNY Ulster. In Washington, Ryan will fight for investments in electric public transportation, job training in green careers, and will stand against big polluters who want to damage the Hudson Valley’s precious natural resources.