Congressman Ryan takes ceremonial oath for local supporters

Legislative Gazette photo by Christian Evanko

This past Saturday, SUNY New Paltz hosted newly elected Congressman Pat Ryan, who celebrated his recent victory with a swearing-in ceremony for supporters in his Hudson Valley district. 

Ryan, D-Gardiner, was officially sworn into office September 13, 2022 in Washington as the new representative for Congressional District 19. Constituents, family, friends and other elected officials congratulated Ryan during this weekend’s local ceremony, where the former Ulster County executive addressed a packed room in a speech that touched upon his ties to SUNY New Paltz, among other topics. 

“My Mom’s a proud alum of undergrad and her master’s in teaching from SUNY New Paltz,” said Ryan. “What’s happened here at this institution is a big part of why I’m here today.”

Among those representatives in attendance were Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, D-Brooklyn who was given the honor of swearing Ryan into Congress. Schumer remembers Ryan as a young man with high aspirations.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks at SUNY New Paltz on Saturday, September 24, 2022. Legislative Gazette photo by Christian Evanko

“Many of you may not know this but I go back to those times, way back when his dream was to attend West Point,” Schumer said. To attend West Point, one must obtain a congressional nomination from a representative of their residing state. “Each year I get about 600 applications from the state. I’m only allowed to nominate 10, and it’s a very serious process, but Pat was an easy choice,” Schumer said.

Following a speech from Senator Schumer, Ryan took the podium to great applause. 

“It’s been two weeks as the newest representative of the United States House of Representatives and I’m so proud to represent this community,” Ryan said. “In the same way that I fiercely fought to protect my fellow soldiers I will fight for all of you, my constituents.” 

The new congressman has been quick to act, sponsoring the Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act (H.R.8976) — a bill that preempts individual state restrictions on aboriton medication mifepristone and misoprostol — and supporting the Improving Access to the VA Home Loan Benefit Act (H.R.7735), which would improve the appraisal process for Veteran Administration mortgages.

“I promised everybody in our campaign and in all the conversations that I’ve had with you that I would bring that fight; that same tenacity that we brought to both the small things that we’ve done in government and these big foundational fights for freedom, for rights, and for our beliefs and we are certainly hitting the ground running,” Ryan said.

Ryan beat Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro in a special election in August to replace Antonio Delgado, who was tapped to serve as lieutenant governor under Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

Ryan is running again this November for the District 18 congressional seat against state Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, R-New Windsor.