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Rice picks up another labor endorsement

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice continues to stockpile labor endorsements for her congressional campaign as her potential Democratic primary opponent remains undecided on a run.

Teamsters Local 237, the municipal union that is largely based in New York City – but also represents about 3,000 Long Island workers – sent Rice an endorsement letter on Friday.

“You have served the people of Nassau County ably and with great distinction during your tenure as District Attorney of Nassau County,” wrote Gregory Floyd, Local 237 president. “Public service is clearly in your blood and I know that you will continue working for the people in your capacity as a member of the New York Congressional delegation.”

Rice, 49, of Garden City, is seeking to succeed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) in Nassau’s 4th district. After securing McCarthy’s backing, the DA quickly received the endorsements of The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and the affiliated United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Together, the two groups represent about 40,000 workers in supermarkets, drug stores, and other retail, food and manufacturing centers throughout the New York region.

Labor endorsements are traditionally coveted by Democrats who may face a primary, but in Rice’s case, she’s getting the support before her potential opponent even decides whether he’ll run. Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) has formed a campaign committee and is raising funds, but has yet to declare his candidacy.

His aides have said that they need to see whether they can raise enough money to challenge Rice, who is a proven fundraiser and will have the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s connections.

Abrahams spokesman Jeff Guillot has not commented on the campaign’s fundraising to date. Its second fundraiser – a luxury suite event at the Hofstra University men’s basketball game – was held Wednesday. Tickets were listed between $500 and $2,500.

Abrahams is expected to decide whether or not to run by early March, when petitioning to get on the primary ballot can begin.

On the Republican side, party leaders are expected to back Bruce Blakeman, the former county legislative president officer who declared his candidacy on Thursday. New Hyde Park attorney Frank Scaturro, who sought the GOP nomination in 2012, and Merrick businessman David Silverstein, a political newcomer, have also launched Republican campaigns.

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