West Point graduate, Kingston native is seventh Democrat to run in NY-19

19th Congressional District candidate Pat Ryan

Patrick Ryan, a graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point and Kingston native, will become the seventh Democrat to decide to take a run for the 19th Congressional District.

Ryan enters a crowded field looking to take on freshman Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, in November 2018.

Ryan, 35, currently lives in New York City but said he’s searching for a home in Gardiner, Accord or Kingston with his wife. He graduated from Kingston High School.

From high school, Ryan went to West Point, graduated and served two combat tours in Iraq, including a tour as the lead intelligence officer for an infantry battalion of 1,000 soldiers and officers responsible for ground operations in Mosul, according to a biography provided by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

After leaving the military with the rank of captain, Ryan began two businesses, first a data analytics firm called Praescient Analytics that had about 150 employees and then a cybersecurity firm called Second Front Systems. His LinkedIn profile said he also worked as a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations around that time.

Ryan currently is the senior vice president of the the public sector division of Dataminr, a New York City start-up company that, according to this article in Fortune, is authorized by Twitter to analyze its data and detect breaking news events as they occur. The company can then sell that information to “hedge funds, news outlets, large corporations and government bodies,” which for a time included the CIA, the Fortune article said.

Ryan said he plans to leave Dataminr, which he’s worked at for about two years, to run for Congress.

Ryan said his desire to serve the country pushed him to join the military and create his start-up businesses and he thinks there’s a lack of military veterans in Congress. He cited his military experience, deep roots in the area and foreign policy knowledge from studying and receiving his Master’s in Security Studies from Georgetown University as qualifications to run.

“I’ve always been someone who’s always had this desire to serve something greater than myself,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he began considering a run for congress through a network of military veterans that includes Rep. Seth Moulton, a Marine Corps veteran and Democrat who represents Massachusetts’ sixth congressional district. Ryan said he also had conversations with the Boston-based group New Politics, that works to recruit those with public service backgrounds to run for office and helped recruit Moulton for his 2014 run for congress.

According to a New York Times wedding announcement, Ryan’s wife worked as a policy analyst at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Ryan said one of his chief focuses will be on creating jobs in the district. He said he remembered when IBM shut down in the Town of Ulster when he was a kid and how that impacted the region.

“Half my friends in school had to move away when IBM left,” Ryan said.

Ryan also said he’ll focus on beefing up infrastructure like broadband in the district, supporting educational funding and fighting against the repeal of Obamacare if elected.

The 19th district includes all or part of 11 counties, including all or part of Ulster and Sullivan counties.

 

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    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full
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