KINGSTON – Democrat Pat Ryan defeated Republican Jack Hayes in a special election in June to become the county executive until they both ran again in the general election Tuesday.
And Tuesday, by a wide margin, Ryan beat Hayes again to retain his seat as county executive.
“I am a proud Democrat, and I am proud of the vision we laid out,” said Ryan, after his overwhelming victory. “It’s a bold progressive vision.”
During his five months in office, Ryan worked to implement programs including a green jobs initiative, creating a department of economic development, keeping taxes low and helping to bring affordable housing to the county’s young workforce along with a mandate to bring more renewable energy to Ulster County.
Ryan said he will continue to work “at the ground level” and lead inclusively.
“Right now in our country I think we are at the most divided time we have ever been in my lifetime and I left my career in the private sector because I felt that our country was at a breaking point, like we were at a point where the whole thing was going to come apart where our democracy was going to fray at the seams,” he said.
Democrat March Gallagher became the first-ever female comptroller in Ulster County when she defeated Republican Lisa Cutten.
Gallagher said she wants to keep taxes down and bring more transparency to county finances.
“We have to manage county tax dollars wisely, and we have to deliver programs well in the most efficient way possible,” she said. “I am going to be working with Pat and the new legislature to figure out what we want to really, really look at.”
Gallagher is the second county comptroller. Elliot Auerbach resigned earlier this year to accept a deputy state comptroller’s position.