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  • Rich Klein


Six days ago, the redistricting maps designed by Democratic leaders in Albany were thrown out by the New York Court of Appeals. That giant decision meant that Sullivan County was likely going to get another term out of Congressman Antonio Delgado, the Democrat who in 2018 unseated Republican John Faso.

But after today's bombshell news that Governor Kathy Hochul has appointed Delgado as Lt. Governor, the big question is what that means for the 19th Congressional District - or any new district that Sullivan could end up in when the lines are redrawn yet again, this time by a special master.

With Delgado as Lt. Governor, the question immediately becomes: Does Sullivan have any Democrat who can run for his seat?

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, who finished a close second to Delgado in the 2018 Democratic primary, could be a very strong candidate to throw his hat into that ring. (Update: Ryan tweeted this morning that he may in fact do that). Ryan has done a superb job shepherding Ulster through the COVID-19 crisis and his communication skills about the pandemic was an example that should have and could have been followed by our County Manager and County Legislature Chair.

Ryan is a fifth-generation Ulster County resident. After graduating from Kingston High School, he 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.

Hochul made a strong political choice in Delgado in that he is one of the top campaign fundraisers in the House of Representatives and will give her the boost she would need win in November. It will also help the public forget about the Brian Benjamin fiasco.

As for Delgado, while he was clearly a rising star in the House, this will give the 45-year-old name recognition across the state and help him down the road when he seeks higher office, whether he eyes the Executive Chamber or The White House.


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