Gardiner residents to vie for executive

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 3/13/19

Two Gardiner residents will compete in a special election for Ulster County Executive.

The special election was called upon the resignation of County Executive Mike Hein, who stepped down to take …

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Gardiner residents to vie for executive

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Two Gardiner residents will compete in a special election for Ulster County Executive.

The special election was called upon the resignation of County Executive Mike Hein, who stepped down to take a job in the Cuomo administration. The measure for a special election passed by the Ulster County Legislature with a vote of 14-6, with the vote set for April 30.

Hein’s chief of staff, Adele Reiter, has been serving as acting county executive since Hein left, and will remain in the post until the result of the special election is certified.

To date, Pat Ryan, of Gardiner, was nominated by the Ulster County Democratic Party to run for County Executive in April. Republicans, on Monday, nominated Jack Hayes, Ulster County Conservative Chairman, to run in the April 30 election.

Republicans first failed to field a candidate at their party convention on Feb. 23, and then they canceled a second convention, scheduled for March 8. The Hayes nomination came just before the 5 p.m. deadline on Monday. He will also appear on the Conservative Party line.

Hayes was town of Gardiner supervisor in 2002 and 2003 and an Ulster County legis-lator in 2010 and 2011. He lost his 2011 re-election bid to Tracey Bartels, a nonenrolled voter who ran on the Democratic line and now is chairwoman of the county Legislature.

In 2016, Hayes was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Plattekill.

Ryan, a Kingston native has never before held an elective office. He was nominated at the Feb. 20 Democratic Party convention. He is a West Point graduate who served two tours in Iraq before returning home to start a technology business.

The winner of the April election will serve until the end of the year. The winner of the November election will serve a four-year term starting Jan. 1, 2020.

County Legislator Richard Gerentine [R-Marlborough], and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said holding a special election for Ulster County Executive is a waste of money – by up to $350,000 after the dust settles.

“It is not prudent to spend that kind of money for someone to be there for a seven month period of time,” he said.

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