Shams Tarek has left as spokesman for Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) to begin work Monday for Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Tarek insisted his move says nothing about the future of either McCarthy, who's on leave while being treated for lung cancer, or Rice, rumored to be looking to move up, possibly for a run for Congress. "I got a great job opportunity," he said.

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He noted that McCarthy has already filed to run for re-election next year. As to Rice, he said he worked for her before, on her campaign for district attorney, before he joined McCarthy's 2010 congressional campaign. But he denied he knows anything about Rice's plans.

-- Tom Brune