While his Republican rival is focusing on issues stemming from public safety and inflation, Democratic House hopeful Pat Ryan this week released an ad spotlighitng his efforts to bolster oversight of the Hudson Valley's primary power utility. 

The ad, the second his campaign has released, points to Ryan's efforts as the Ulster County executive to respond to price increases, billing problems and public hearings on the issue. 

“For too long, big corporations have had too much power and too much say at the expense of New York families," County Executive Pat Ryan said. "It’s outrageous and unacceptable – while most of us are struggling to pay our bills, put food on the table, and keep the lights on, big corporations like Central Hudson are making record profits. Now more than ever, we need champions in Congress who will fight for us, not sell out to corporate interests. From day one, I’ve fought to hold big corporations accountable, ensuring they pay their fair share; and I’ll bring that same fight to Washington.”

Ryan is running for the Hudson Valley congressional district vacated earlier this year by Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado. Ryan and Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro will face each other in an Aug. 23 special election. 

In a statement, Central Hudson spokesman Joe Jenkins critcized Ryan for the ad. 

“Just a few months ago, when the news cameras were out, Ryan stood with Central Hudson employees and thanked us for our good work. We are disappointed now to see him spread misinformation," he said. "As a utility in New York, our rates are regulated by state authorities and energy supply prices are determined by market forces."

The ad is "unfairly critical" of the utility's unionized workforce in the region, Jenkins said. 

"Central Hudson remains committed to serving all of our communities and we believe rhetoric that divides people and changes from one day to the next does a disservice," he said. "As we have several times in the past, we invite the County Executive to meet with us so we can share important information about our work to enhance our customers' experience and strengthen the grid."