Former State Senator Jen Metzger and Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley are the candidates to finish the remaining year of Pat Ryan’s term as Ulster County Executive.
Metzger secured the Democratic nomination for Ulster County Executive with 64 percent of the vote at Saturday’s Ulster County Democratic Committee convention in Kingston.
Metzger was one of three Democrats vying to replace Ryan, who was elected to congress in a special election to replace Antonio Delgado who, in turn, was appointed Lt Governor by Gov. Kathy Hochul. She was chosen over fellow candidates March Gallagher, current Ulster County Comptroller, and Marc Rider, a Deputy County Executive.
“I am honored by the overwhelming support of the Ulster County Democratic Committee in nominating me to be the Democratic candidate on the November ballot for this important office, and hope to have the opportunity to build on Pat Ryan’s work here in Ulster County,” said Metzger. “I want to express my appreciation for fellow candidates March Gallagher and Marc Rider, and welcome the opportunity to work with them if I am elected in November.”
“Jen Metzger is a dedicated, thoughtful and passionate public servant who I had the opportunity to work closely with during my time in Congress on issues ranging from broadband access and protecting our family farms to supporting our residents and businesses through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to congratulate Jen on her nomination and express my full support of her candidacy in the November election. She has what it takes to lead Ulster County in this challenging time,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado.
Metzger is a former State Senator and Rosendale Town Council Member currently serving on the New York State Cannabis Control Board. She received the endorsement of her predecessor .
“Congratulations to Jen Metzger on earning the Democratic nomination for Ulster County Executive,” said Ryan. “I have full confidence that Jen will be able to step into the role and build on the work we accomplished over the last several years. Jen and I very much share a vision for Ulster County, and I know that residents will be well served with her at the helm.”
Metzger was nominated at the proceedings by Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa, with Saugerties Democratic Committee Chair Nejla Liias seconding the nomination.
“I am thrilled that the Ulster County Democratic Committee selected Jen Metzger to be the Democratic candidate for Ulster County Executive. Jen is a visionary who will make our county work for everybody. A collaborative team builder, Jen will meet challenges head on and lead us to even greater heights. I urge everyone to get behind Jen and make her our next county executive,” said Figueroa.
Following Ryan’s resignation, Johanna Contreras was sworn in as Acting Ulster County Executive, a position she will hold through the end of the year.
The Ulster County Democratic Committee also took the opportunity to select officers for the coming year.
Kelleigh McKenzie (Town of Rosendale) and Jeff Collins (Town of Woodstock) were reelected as the County Chair and First Vice Chair, respectively. Additionally, Adriana Magaña (Town of Wawarsing) was reelected Secretary and Amee Peterson (City of Kingston) as Treasurer.
Of the five additional vice chairs, Amy Fradon (Town of Woodstock) was reelected as Vice Chair for Voter Outreach, Alexandria Wojcik (Town of New Paltz) was reelected as Vice Chair for Fundraising, Shelley Eshkar (Town of Rochester) was elected Vice Chair for Communications, Marisa McClinton (Town of Plattekill) as Vice Chair for Diversity and Party Building and Lin Sakai (Town of Esopus) as Vice Chair of Campaign Support. Robert Haskins (Town of Lloyd) and Barbara Graves-Poller (Town of Gardiner) were elected as Ethics Commission Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.
Metzger’s opponent in November will be Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley, who has secured both Republican and Conservative endorsements.
Quigley is a financial expert and a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with more than 30 years experience managing finances and complex organizations. He’s known for his innovative approaches to solving municipal problems and encouraging town and county governments to work together to address the community’s challenges.
“I’m running for County Executive because I am uniquely qualified to solve the problems that confront county residents, and I understand the day-to-day responsibilities of running local government,” Quigley said.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the New York State Conservative Party, Ulster County endorsement and nomination of Town of Ulster Town Supervisor James E Quigley III for the position of Ulster County Executive,” said Jack Hayes, Chairman, New York State Conservative Party, Ulster County “ I have known Jim Quigley for many years. Jim is an exceptional manager and administrator. I have sought his advice and counsel on numerous occasions. He has been generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise.”
“First and foremost, effective county government provides and sustains our county’s infrastructure, the core services we all count on. That means clean drinking water, roads and bridges, sewer and sanitation, broadband coverage and cellular service. It also also means the critical emergency services that protect our lives and our property—fire service, law enforcement, ambulance and EMS, and public health services,” Quigley said.
“The people rely on knowledgeable and responsive local government to improve and sustain that infrastructure, and to do so in a way that respects the taxpayer and the taxpayers’ dollars.
“For too long the office of County Executive has been viewed as a birthright and used as a stepping stone for higher office. With the support of Ulster County voters, those days will end under my watch. I’m asking voters to help me usher in an era where our next County Executive is qualified for the job, understands the day-to-day needs and challenges of the office, and has a proven track record of solving the complex problems of running local government.
“I am the only candidate in the race who can fulfill that promise and I believe the voters will come to the same conclusion,” Quigley said.
Quigley identified several key issues for his upcoming campaign: infrastructure, inflation, crime, mental health service, emergency services, environment, jobs and the economy, respecting the property tax payer and what he termed as corruption in using the office of County Executive as “a stepping stone for ambitious politicians to advance their personal goals.”