Longtime New York State Bridge Authority Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero stepped down from his position and plans to run for Dutchess County executive.

Ruggiero resigned on Friday after serving the organization for nine years, according to a bridge authority press release. This is Ruggiero’s second run for county executive. In 2007, he challenged then-incumbent William Steinhaus, who went on to win a fifth and final four-year term.

“This has been an amazing, dedicated group of public servants to work with to ensure the mission of the Bridge Authority continues to be met on behalf of the public,” Ruggiero said in a statement. “An opportunity has presented itself to me outside of the authority that I am excited to pursue. I leave this post in very capable hands.”

Tara Sullivan takes Ruggiero’s place as acting executive director. She said in a statement that it has been a privilege to work with him for many years.

“Joe has brought the Bridge Authority into the 21st century and prepared it for the challenges of tomorrow,” Sullivan said. “I look forward to leading the authority as acting executive director and continuing the good work of our exemplary staff.”

Ruggiero was endorsed Monday night by the Dutchess County Democratic Committee to run for county executive in November, according to a committee release.

He is a former Town of Wappinger supervisor and New York state deputy comptroller.

“I’ve lived in Dutchess County my entire life and have a full understanding of the challenges facing our residents,” Ruggiero said. “Whether it’s rising energy costs, increasing property taxes, a mounting county fiscal crisis or just making ends meet around the kitchen table, I know what families are dealing with in Dutchess County.”

Original Article

(by Ryan Santistevan, Poughkeepsie Journal Published 10:58 a.m. ET Feb. 26, 2019)