NY-19 Special Election Pits Pat Ryan Against Marc Molinaro

On August 23, 2022, the state of New York will hold primaries in congressional races and State Senate races, as well as special elections to fill vacancies in two congressional districts. One of those two special elections will be held in New York’s 19th congressional district. A vacancy was created in this district when Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) resigned from office to become Lieutenant Governor of New York. This election pits Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro (R-Red Hook) against Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan (D-Gardiner).

Marc Molinaro is running for Congress on the Republican and Conservative Party lines. A graduate of Dutchess County Community College, Molinaro hails from the Hudson Valley. Molinaro’s history of public service includes stints as a Village of Tivoli Trustee, Mayor of Tivoli, Member of the Dutchess County Legislature, and Member of the New York State Assembly. He has served as Dutchess County Executive since 2012. In 2018, Molinaro ran for governor of New York against Andrew Cuomo, but was defeated by a substantial margin.

Pat Ryan is seeking election to Congress on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. A Kingston native, Ryan graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned a master’s degree from Georgetown University. Ryan served in the United States Army and is an Iraq War veteran. He is also the co-founder of two technology firms. After running for Congress unsuccessfully in 2018, Ryan was elected Ulster County Executive in 2019.

On his campaign website, Ryan calls for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and expresses support for same-sex “marriage” and an assault weapons ban. Molinaro is focused on limiting inflation and lowering the cost of living. He supports the “Stay in Mexico” immigration policy that requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico before their asylum cases are heard here; he also supports increased drilling for natural gas. The candidates have different perspectives on the abortion issue, which Ryan has made a focal point of his campaign. Ryan vocally opposes the Supreme Court’s pro-life decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and has called for federal legislation to restore abortion rights nationwide. Molinaro supports the Dobbs decision, calls himself “personally pro-life,” and has said that the abortion issue should be decided at the state level; his past statements on the issue hint at support for some level of abortion access.