KINGSTON – Democrat Patrick Ryan became the second elected Ulster County executive Friday afternoon in Kingston, replacing acting Executive Adele Reiter. The brief ceremony inside the Uptown County Courthouse was officiated by Sheriff Juan Figueroa, with State Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli administering the oath.
“Public service is where it’s at, it’s the coolest gig in town,” Ryan told several hundred well-wishers and public officials crammed into the second floor courtroom.
Included among the invitees were Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, State Senator Jennifer Metzger, Kingston Mayor Steven Noble, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, plus many others.
“The opportunity to serve as your county executive is one of the greatest and absolutely most humbling opportunities of my lifetime, and I thank you all,” Ryan said. “Although my campaign was short, it was intense,” he added, referencing the special election held April 30, to replace Mike Hein, who served 10 years.
“I outlined a clear vision to lead our county forward, and that bold vision energized people, resulting in a pretty decisive victory which says a lot what our county stands for, what we’re about, and what we’re going to do,” Ryan said.
He outlined a set of goals including improved standard of living, job training, “Green New Deal,” and fighting the opioid epidemic. Ulster County has the highest overdose rate per capita in New York, Ryan lamented.
“This is not about me at all, this is about us,” Ryan noted, promising to visit every town in Ulster County within the first six months of his tenure. He also vowed to create a diverse and inclusive administration to tackle tough issues together.