About Patty

Patty Ritchie looks out for us.

“Looking out for us” means putting the needs and interests of our communities first. Patty Ritchie understands our communities’ needs–and she’s delivered.

As our Senator, Patty Ritchie stood up for our freedoms–she voted NO on the SAFE Act and has been pushing for its repeal–cut taxes and red tape, and has worked to create jobs and better opportunity for residents of Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.

Every day she’s reaching across the political aisle to deliver results for the North Country and Central New York. Like the 2% tax cap that’s helping to hold the line on local property taxes–including winning the return of annual property tax rebate checks for homeowners–voting to lower taxes, cut job-killing red tape, secure increased funding for our public schools and support for community programs

Recognizing the vital role that agriculture plays in her rural district, Senator Ritchie used her role as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee to turn around years of budget cuts to state programs that benefit farmers. She passed a new law that limits tax increases on farmland, and concerned about preserving our rural farming traditions for future generations,designed and won passage of an innovative and widely acclaimed “Young Farmers NY” initiative to encourage more young people to pursue careers in agriculture.

Even as she has worked in Albany to create a better business and economic climate to encourage job growth, Senator Ritchie’s annual Job Fairs are connecting hundreds of local job-seekers with employers and good careers right now. The events, in Ogdensburg and Fulton, together attract more than 100 employers and nearly 1,000 job seekers annually.

Because good health is critical to every family and individual, Senator Ritchie is working to preserve access to the very best, modern health care at local community hospitals, and is a strong advocate for rural health care systems. She was a leader in helping organize community support for the St. Lawrence Psych Center, and helped save mental health care services–and hundreds of jobs–at the facility.

Senator Ritchie recognized an opportunity to capitalize on the strong community support for the Psych Center, and designed a plan to transform abandoned and unused eyesores at the facility to help stimulate job and economic growth. Her land transfer plan can help attract new businesses to the North Country and help strengthen the local tax base.

To protect the health of Oswego County residents, Senator Ritchie delivered $700,000 in special budget funding, and joined forces with local health officials to mount a major informational and educational campaign to prevent the disease and save lives.

Because the district she represents includes the largest military installation in the Northeastern United States, and is home to tens of thousands of military veterans who served our nation with honor and distinction, Senator Ritchie has been a fierce champion for service men and women. She delivered critical budget funding to protect the post from encroachment by developers, and created “Fort Drum Day,” an annual celebration of the State Capitol that aims to increase awareness among state leaders from Buffalo to New York City of the post and its important role in the North Country economy.

She played a key role in gaining funding for expanded PTSD services for homecoming troops, and annually recognizes area veterans for their military, as well as their continuing service to our communities.

Senator Ritchie has also made a point to recognize individuals across her district for the invaluable service they provide to their neighbors, families, friends and community–including separate public events that seek to highlight the contributions of exemplary teachers, accomplished women, artists and ordinary citizens who go above and beyond in service to neighbors, friends and strangers.

————-

Patty Ritchie was elected to the State Senate in November 2010, after serving 11 years as St. Lawrence County Clerk. She was reelected in 2012 with the largest winning margin of any incumbent Senator with a major party opponent.

She grew up on her family’s small dairy farm in DePeyster, graduated from Heuvelton Central Schools, Mater Dei College and the State University College at Potsdam.

Patty Ritchie and her husband, Tom, live in Heuvelton, St. Lawrence County. The couple has three children, and three grandchildren.