There has been no shortage of Democratic candidates looking to take on Republican Congressman John Faso in 2018, but Ulster County Executive Mike Hein won’t be one of them.
In a statement, Hein criticized the “absurdity” of national politics and called for policies to protect the environment and provide quality health care, but concluded that he was needed in Ulster County and would not run for Congress in 2018.
“This decision has truly been one of the most difficult of my professional life and one that I have not taken lightly,” said Hein in the statement. He outlined several accomplishments since he took office in 2008, but said “major challenges still remain and there is much work left to do. Fortunately, if we remain bold, this very special moment in time also provides a unique opportunity to deliver an even brighter future for the great people of Ulster County for generations to come.”
Hein, as a popular county executive, has probably the highest profile of any Democrat considering a run for New York’s 19th Congressional District.
My family and I have been deeply touched and truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and ongoing encouragement that I’ve received to run for U.S. Congress in New York’s 19th district. I am humbled by it all and thank each and every one of you for the faith and unwavering trust you have placed in me.
This decision has truly been one of the most difficult of my professional life and one that I have not taken lightly. I know in my heart that as extraordinary as our Country is, the fact remains, we have yet to achieve our full potential. A Model Nation that embraces all people, one that remains a beacon of freedom, equality and hope and one that leads globally on other meaningful issues like environmental protection and defending the basic human dignity of all; including access for all to quality healthcare in a Nation of such great wealth.
I share with millions of my fellow Americans profound concern and frustration about the current direction of our Country. The divisive tone, irresponsible behavior and harmful policies emanating from our Nation’s Capital threaten to undermine the very foundation of our great democracy and rob from an entire generation access to the inclusive American Dream that everyone deserves.
Within our precious democracy, I also have great respect for the critical importance of honest, dedicated local officials serving in pivotal positions all across America who directly impact each and every one of us, every single day. The long term effect of these often unsung leaders on our collective future can, at its best, be nothing short of transformative.
As the Ulster County Executive, I take great pride in the creative and positive reforms that we have been able to deliver to help our Veterans, seniors, students, families and, especially, those among us most in need. I have had the privilege to work with a dedicated team who I believe are some of the finest individuals anywhere. At my core, I know that real leadership comes with compassion and respect for human dignity as well as an unwavering commitment to science, facts and our responsibility to leave our environment much better than we found it. We have accomplished so much together while simultaneously lowering the property tax burden on hard working middle class families, growing a sustainable local economy and helping spur nothing short of a renaissance in Ulster County.
That said, major challenges still remain and there is much work left to do. Fortunately, if we remain bold, this very special moment in time also provides a unique opportunity to deliver an even brighter future for the great people of Ulster County for generations to come… So after much reflection I have made the very personal decision not to run for Congress in 2018 and instead to remain focused locally on doing everything in my power to directly help the great people of Ulster County.
And because there is no question that sweeping change must take place in Washington, in addition to serving as County Executive I am excited and energized to work diligently to ensure that one of the many gifted, honorable and worthy Democratic candidates is successful in our efforts to take back NY 19 and help protect the future of our amazing nation from the absurdity of the politics we are witnessing today.