County comptroller Elliott Auerbach, whom many saw as a natural successor to Mike Hein, declared on President’s Day, not for himself but for Pat Ryan. Zowie.
Some insiders thought Auerbach, three times a county winner, might be ”doing a Biden,” as in biding his time like wanna-be president Joe Biden, waiting for the pack to come to him. Not so. Endorsing Ryan takes Auerbach out of the running, unless, in the unlikely event that the former congressional candidate stumbles to the finish line.
There doesn’t seem to be much stumble in this guy. First out of the gate for executive, he got the congressional band back together and down to work. His well-oiled machine has secured Democratic committee endorsements in Gardiner, New Paltz and Lloyd, with solid support in Ulster, Saugerties and Olive. Pat Courtney Strong will take Kingston, Esopus and Rosendale. Former Woodstock town supervisor Jeff Moran will be the Art Colony’s favorite son, but can they stop the Ryan express?
Not to go all hind-sight here, but if Ryan had run this kind of campaign for congress last year, he might be standing at the chamber of commerce breakfast podium on Thursday, rather than Antonio Delgado. That said, Ryan’s enthusiastic support of Delgado after losing the primary, endeared him with Delgado supporters, paving the way for a credible campaign for executive.
Playing the fly in the ointment (my calling since birth) I wonder how many of the 300-odd committee members who will vote on Wednesday, took notice of Ryan’s promising to keep former candidate Marc Rider as deputy executive (if he wins) after Rider threw his support to him. Sounded like one of those deals usually done in dark places, but hen, Ryan may be one of those rare pols who’s actually transparent. I can only hope, given the proclivities of those in power.
No deal, said Ryan, looking slightly offended, when I asked him about it. He’ll need experienced people if and when he takes office, he said, and he likes Rider’s profile.