Politics Runs In Family For Newly Elected LawmakersPosted: Updated:
Ryan Henry-Wilkinson strolls a northside neighborhood in Watertown.
"This is where I grew up. This is the neighborhood I grew up in," he said.
His great-grandfather was William Flynn. A city pool bears his name and Flynn was a city council member from 1946 to 1962.
Henry-Wilkinson says it's that legacy that led him to run for city council.
"I think there was this expectation we were going to serve the community because that's what our family does," he said.
The ancestral family neighborhood is also special to one of his cousins, the mayor-elect of Sackets Harbor. Flynn is also the great-grandfather of Molly Reilly.
"My great-grandfather, William Flynn, was a man of integrity. He was one who would courageously take positions even though they may not have been the popular decision to take," she said.
Flynn ran for Watertown mayor, but lost. He was a leader in the Northside Improvement League and a successful businessman.
"We're definitely proud of the things that he did," said Henry-Wilkinson.
The Flynn family is loaded with achievers, especially in public service. And these two office holders believe their great-granddad will be watching them.
"I think that my great-grandfather is smiling for us. I think that he is also is probably trying to tell us, follow the path of what's right," said Reilly.