Gardiner resident Pat Ryan is now running for a full four-year term as Ulster County Executive. On April 30, he won a special election to fill the unexpired term of Mike Hein, who left the county government to serve in the Cuomo administration.
Growing up in Kingston as a fifth-generation Ulster County resident, Pat Ryan’s entire 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 and was an active community leader. Their example taught Pat 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, Pat attended West Point and served two combat tours in Iraq as an Army intelligence officer. After leaving the military, he founded a small technology company, which he grew to over 150 employees. As an executive, Pat managed a $25 million annual budget and worked to build partnerships with government and nonprofit organizations. He also implemented progressive 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.
Following his business career, Pat has worked as a progressive leader in Ulster County. Running for Congress in the Democratic primary last year, Pat led the charge for a ban on assault weapons, mobilizing dozens of students to protest for safer gun laws, and advocated for universal healthcare and policies to stop climate change. Although Pat was the runner-up in that race, that didn’t stop him from working to make Ulster County a better place. He rallied behind Rep. Antonio Delgado and worked tirelessly to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket to advance a progressive agenda at all levels of our government.
Pat lives in Gardiner with his wife, Rebecca, their infant son, Theo, and their two rescue cats. Now as a candidate for County Executive, he has a clear vision for how to lead Ulster County forward and build on the progress we’ve made in the last decade. Why Pat needs to be elected:
- His Stance on the Issues: Pat has a strong vision for the future of Ulster County, including creating a countywide Green New Deal, fighting to continue Mike Hein’s efforts in reforming our justice system to be as fair as it can possibly be, working closely with our new Sheriff, Juan Figueroa, promoting economic development that benefits all Ulster County residents, and opposing the disastrous policies of the Trump administration.
- His Record of Service: Pat is a fifth-generation resident of Ulster County who has made service a top priority in his life. His mom was a public school teacher and his dad a small businessman and community leader. They taught him that serving his country and community was of paramount importance. After graduating from Kingston High School, Pat went on to West Point and served two combat tours in Iraq.
- His Executive Experience: After leaving the military, Pat founded a small technology company, which he grew to over 150 employees. As an executive, Pat managed a $25 million budget and worked to build partnerships with government and nonprofit organizations. He created a jobs training program for veterans without college degrees, equipping them with tech skills to ensure they had high-paying jobs. So, Pat Ryan has strong executive leadership experience at large bureaucratic organizations, including as an officer in the U.S. Army, that is directly applicable to running a public sector organization like Ulster County.
- His Strong Support of Unions: Pat’s mom, Patti, was a public-school teacher at Chambers Elementary in Kingston and a union member who taught him the importance of organized labor to America’s working people. In business, he implemented progressive employer policies like paid family leave. Ulster County government has a strong unionized workforce with whom Pat will work closely and cooperatively to maximize the services delivered to county residents while improving Ulster County as a public employee. He is a strong leader who prioritizes teamwork.
In his few short months on the job, Pat has “hit the ground running” like no other county executive. He has, among many other accomplishments:
- Announced a comprehensive coordinated implementation
- of New York’s Red Flag law
- Signed Ulster County’s Term Limits law.
- Announced “Connect Ulster” Initiative, a digital outreach initiative that will better enable residents to engage County Government and the County Executive directly through social media.
- Has created a ,major initiative to combat the opioid epidemic in Ulster County.
- Has pledged to conduct town hall-style meetings in every town in the county and, as of mid-September, has completed over half of them.
- Implemented Ulster County’s ban on single-use plastic grocery bags.
- Halted the County’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities like ICE.