Taking his oath of office in January 2023 in West Point, NY, Pat Ryan said:
“From our country’s founding, this community has served as a bulwark in the fight for our democracy, where patriots dragged an iron chain from West Point across the Hudson River to stop British forces. Once again, our democracy is being tested and I believe it is us, the people of the Hudson Valley, who must rise to the moment. My promise to you all is to bring these values with me to Washington- to always keep fighting to defend our rights, and to deliver relief.”
BACKGROUND + EXPERIENCE
Pat Ryan is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor’s in International Relations and has an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown. He served two combat tours in Iraq, earning two Bronze Stars.
Ryan was elected and served as Ulster County Executive from 2019 to 2022. In 2022 he won a special election for the 19th Congressional District of New York. His victory indicated a strong pro-choice sentiment nationally, serving as a harbinger of the 2022 midterms. Due to redistricting, he ran in the general election in NY18 which is where he was born and raised, lives with his family, graduated from Kingston High School and West Point, and served as County Executive. In November 2022 he defeated Colin Schmitt in the 18th with 50.7 % of the vote in this Biden +8 district.
ON THE ISSUES
Ryan is focused on four priorities in Congress:
Leveling the playing field for middle-class families: equal pay for equal work; middle class tax cuts, economic development and assuring that big corporations pay their fair share
Protecting Foundational Freedoms, standing up against extremism; fighting for women’s reproductive rights, voting rights, freedom to marry whomever you choose.
Keeping our community safe is the core role of government. He supports funding for law enforcement, commonsense gun reform, providing mental health and drug addiction treatment resources, and expanding mental health services.
Safeguarding the environment beginning with combating climate change, transitioning to a greener future, and standing against big polluters.
POLITICS IN NEW YORK
In the 2022 election cycle, New York State underperformed against expectations in electing Democrats to Congress despite being a blue state. Nationally, Republicans won 18 “Biden” seats in the House and six of these were in New York. While there many explanations and competing theories explaining this unfortunate situation (e.g. disarray and atrophy in the state party organization; lack of support from national Democratic groups; impacts associated with the abrupt change in NY governorship; attractiveness of the Republican gubernatorial candidate on Long island and in the lower/mid – Hudson regions), Pat Ryan effectively bucked the trend by running an issues-based, aggressive campaign.
New York Times,11/9/22:
“Mr. Ryan’s victory was in part thanks to his ability to build a broader narrative: A combat veteran, Mr. Ryan centered his campaign on all threats to democracy, from foreign enemies to domestic extremists, incursions on women’s rights, elections and gun violence.”
COMMITTEES + CAUCUSES
• Armed Service Committee
• Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
As of the end of 2022, Ryan had $35,690 cash on hand as he prepares for the 2024 election to face an as yet unknown opponent. In 2022, he raised $4,732,662 about $2,669,986 more than his opponent.