Patrick Nelson was born on October 14, 1989 to Catherine Hmura Nelson of Stillwater. He is the grandson of Joseph Paul Hmura of Mechanicville, NY and the late Thelma Brown Hmura formerly of Mechanicville and the late Barney Nelson and Lenetta Aldrich Nelson formerly of Stillwater.
A product of public schools in New York's 21st Congressional District, Patrick attended and graduated from K-12 at the Stillwater Central School District in 2008. During his time there he participated in numerous activities including football, basketball, track and field, theatre, band, and he graduated with an honors regents diploma.
Patrick grew up working as a custodian from the age of 14 at the Stillwater United Church. Along the way he learned the value of a hard day's work and that no matter who you are you are never too good to clean bathrooms.
After high school, Patrick attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he participated in research in Computational Biophysics and he graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics. He attended the School of Law at St. John's University from 2012 to 2013 where he was a Dean's List Student and represented low-income defendants being sued by large financial institutions and vulture capitalists as a Public Interest Fellow with the NYS Unified Court System.
In the summer of 2012, Patrick was elected as a Delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA from the Albany Presbytery. As part of the effort to pass Marriage Equality in the Church, Patrick led efforts to pass a Constitutional Amendment out of the Civil Union and Marriage Issues Committee on which he served. The Amendment passed committee and was narrowly defeated in a 52-48 plenary vote, only to be adopted by a super-majority at the 2014 General Assembly.
In 2013 and 2014, Patrick tried his hand at entrepreneurship working with two early-stage nanobiotechnology companies. This experience taught him about the challenges faced by new businesses in the United States, and he came to see how universal healthcare and student debt relief could help small businesses grow and thrive. He also saw the need to reform the perverse incentives that distort the market for drugs and medical devices.
With a passion to reform the student debt system and to bring scientific literacy to bear on policy, Patrick entered the world of politics in 2014 as an intern on the Aaron Woolf Congressional campaign. He shared his personal story of student debt and advocated for policies to help address the $1.2 Trillion currently burdening graduates and weighing down the American economy.
In June 2015, Patrick declared his candidacy for a seat on the Board of the Town of Stillwater. The campaign focused heavily on local economic development through empowering town residents to create needed businesses in the town. It also focused on local efforts to address Climate Change through a municipal solar park. Though unsuccessful, Patrick captured roughly 42% of the vote, the closest any Democrat had come in 10 years to an electoral victory in the heavily Republican town.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, Patrick volunteered for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. He made phone calls into Iowa, traveled to New Hampshire and Massachusetts to knock on doors, helped organize for the New York Primary through petitioning and canvassing, and was still making calls on the day of the California Primary. On April 19th, Democrats of the 21st Congressional District elected Patrick as one of the their delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Up to this point, Patrick's involvement in politics had always been as a volunteer. He spent days working various part- and full-time jobs to keep the bills paid while pursuing his passion for public service. He worked as a retail clerk at Walgreens and Guitar Center, as a Mutuels Clerk at the Saratoga Race Course, Pimlico, and Belmont Park, and occasionally found work as a Strategy Consultant for area entrepreneurs. As a consultant, Patrick aided clients with business planning to help take a project from the idea phase to the action phase.
In April of 2016, Patrick was offered a full-time role on the campaign of Col. Mike Derrick USA, (Ret.) for the House of Representatives in the 21st District. As Regional Field Director for Saratoga, Fulton, Warren, and Washington counties, Patrick organized volunteers to canvass neighborhoods, make campaign calls, put on events, and conduct other "nuts-and-bolts" campaign activities. In August of 2016, Patrick was promoted to overall Field Director and was charged with leading the campaign's field operations in all 12 counties of the 21st District. Key issues of the campaign were campaign finance reform, climate change, universal health care, and scaling back interventionist foreign policy in favor of diplomacy.
Most recently, Patrick served as Special Projects Coordinator in the office of New York State Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) aiding with communications, legislation, and constituent services for the 2017 Legislative Session. He is a member of the New York Progressive Action Network and previously served on the executive committee. He is also a member of the Saratoga County Democratic Committee, a Ruling Elder at the Stillwater United Church, and a co-founder of North Country Climate Reality.