Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan has secured a full term in Congress, defeating Republican Colin Schmitt in the race for New York’s 18th Congressional District after Schmitt conceded early Wednesday morning.
With 93% of votes counted early Wednesday, Ryan held a modest 50.4% to 49.6% lead over Schmitt, according to The Associated Press.
Ryan's victory is his second congressional race in the past three months. He won a special election in August for the 19th District seat, which was vacated by Rep. Antonio Delgado when he became lieutenant governor. Due to redistricting, after that election, Ryan ran for the 18th, which centers around Poughkeepsie and includes parts of Ulster, Orange and Dutchess counties. It was one of three competitive House races this year across the Hudson Valley.
Schmitt, a state assemblyman since 2019 and member of the Army National Guard, campaigned in a district that President Joe Biden won by about 8 points in 2020. He hit Democrats hard on the economy and inflation.
Ryan is a West Point graduate who lives there with his wife and sons. He was first elected as Ulster County executive in 2017. He ran for the 19th District seat in 2018, losing the Democratic primary to Delgado.
Ryan’s success in the special election was attributed to his focus on abortion as an issue. After his success, Democrats nationwide began really focusing on the issue in their campaigns. He recently told Spectrum News 1 he would run his campaign for the 18th District the same way.
Ryan will be sworn in as a member of the 118th Congress on Jan. 3, 2023.