Ryan touts endorsements in Ulster county exec race (updated)

Gardiner resident and recent congressional candidate Pat Ryan has announced the endorsements of two town Democratic committees and two town supervisors in Ulster County is his competition with the two other Democrats hoping to succeed Mike Hein as county executive.

Ryan, who came in second in a seven-way primary for New York’s 19th Congressional District seat last year, said in campaign press releases that he was endorsed by the Shawangunk and Plattekill committees and by Woodstock Supervisor Bill McKenna and New Paltz Supervisor Neil Bettez. Ryan is a Kingston native who attended West Point, served two combat tours in Iraq and later started two tech businesses.

Ryan and fellow Democrats Pat Strong and Mark Rider are seeking the nomination of the Ulster Democratic Committee later this month to run in a special election to fill Hein’s office for the remainder of the year. Hein has resigned after 10 years as county executive after being picked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to run the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the agency that oversees aid programs for the poor and disabled.

In addition to the upcoming special election, Hein’s would-be successors can start collecting petition signatures this month to run in November for a full, four-year term as county executive.

(Update: Ryan’s campaign announced Tuesday morning that Rider, who is an Ulster deputy county executive, had withdrawn from the race and was supporting Ryan.

“I entered this race with the idea that I would continue the good work begun by County Executive Mike Hein, while also sharing my own vision for making Ulster County a more equitable place for all residents,” Rider said in the press release. “However, I will be doing so while staying in my current role as Deputy County Executive – and joining Team Ryan. I believe Pat Ryan is the best choice to continue the great work that has taken place over the last decade.”

Ryan also released a list of 24 more Democratic committee members who support him.

Strong, a Kingston businesswoman who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate last year, has announced a string of her own endorsements on Facebook in what is now a two-way Democratic competition for county executive. They include Kingston Mayor Steve Noble; New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers and Deputy Mayor KT Tobin; Ulster County legislator and longtime environmental activist Manna Jo Greene; county legislator Lynn Eckert; and Kingston Common Council members Rennie Scott Childress Ward III, Rita Worthington and Andrea Shaut.)

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