Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan's bid for a full term in Congress was endorsed Thursday by Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa.
The endorsement from Figueroa in a 30-second video comes weeks after Ryan was first elected to Congress in an Aug. 24 special election to replace Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado in what had been a battleground House seat in the Hudson Valley.
The district had long been a battleground area for control of the House, and the newly drawn 18th congressional district is also expected to be a closely waged race.
Figueroa's endorsement also gives Ryan a boost from a law enforcement figure as Democrats have sought to counter efforts by Republicans to raise concerns over public safety and police funding this campaign season.
“When it comes to public safety, there’s a lot of good happening in the Hudson Valley,” Figueroa, a Democrat first elected in 2017, said in the 30-second video. “And Pat Ryan is a big reason why.”
Ryan's campaign, too, pointed to votes for federal grant funding for municipalities to boost local police departments.
“I am honored to have Sheriff Figueroa’s backing,” Ryan said. “As county executive, we did a lot of great work to support law enforcement and get them the help they needed. Keeping our communities safe is the core role of government, and I am proud to continue the work in Congress to enhance public safety and support law enforcement.”
Ryan's Republican opponent, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, was endorsed last week by the National Federation of Independent Business.
“Colin Schmitt has experience as a businessman and as a member of the New York State Assembly, he voted with small businesses 100% of the time,” said Ashley Ranslow, the NFIB New York state director. “He knows the issues New York’s small businesses are currently facing and has pledged to focus on tax relief and regulatory reform in Washington to strengthen the small business economy. We look forward to continuing to work with him.”