Kathleen Rice raises $1.5M for congressional bid

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice in Mineola

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice in Mineola on Jan. 9, 2014. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice raised nearly $1.5 million for her congressional bid in less than three months -- positioning herself to be one of the nation's top-funded House candidates this year.

Rice, of Garden City, will report to the Federal Election Commission next week that she took in $1.47 million from 1,362 contributors between late January and March 31, her campaign said Thursday.

After spending $170,079, Rice began the second quarter with $1.3 million on hand. She is seeking to succeed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy in Nassau's 4th Congressional District and will likely face County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams in the June Democratic primary.

Reports for the first-quarter are due Tuesday. Abrahams did not release his figures Thursday, nor did the campaigns of the Republican candidates, former County Legislative Presiding Officer Bruce Blakeman, of Long Beach, and New Hyde Park attorney Frank Scaturro.

"This fundraising success is a direct reflection of the depth and diversity of Kathleen's grassroots support," said Rice spokesman Eric Phillips.

Rice's numbers put her with prominent House members. This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a former vice presidential candidate, said he'd raised $1.4 million in the first quarter.

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Still, Abrahams said he expects to run an effective campaign, even if he's outraised. Rice's support network includes McCarthy, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and unions. "We're not going to raise what Kathleen raises," Abrahams said. "But we're going to raise enough to have a comprehensive field program and will be able to do mailings."

Rice's money, however, means she'll be able to blanket the expensive New York media market with television ads. In 2012, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Republican businessman Randy Altschuler ran frequent television ads in their competitive 1st District race, but neither raised more than $2.7 million over the complete two-year election cycle.

The last cycle's top Long Island House fundraiser, Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), the DCCC chairman, raised $3.2 million, but never more than $600,000 in one quarter.

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