News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has designated 4th District hopeful Bruce Blakeman as a “contender” in their program to support open-seat candidates across the country.
Blakeman, of Long Beach, is a former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature who is facing Democratic Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice in the race to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola).
The NRCC said Tuesday that Blakeman is one of seven to have entered the second stage of its “Young Guns” program, having previously been identified as an “on the radar” candidate.
“I am confident that Bruce will continue to work hard for this district and bring sound, conservative principles to Congress,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the NRCC chairman.
“Contender” candidates “have completed stringent program metrics and are on the path to developing a mature and competitive campaign operation,” the NRCC says. “They are in congressional seats that appear favorable to the GOP candidate.”
Blakeman has loaned himself $700,000 so far this campaign, and as of the end of June, had $610,138 on hand. Rice had $1.4 million.
The third and final stage of the program – which “helps to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run effective, successful and winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents – is “Young Gun” status.
State Sen. Lee Zeldin, who is running for the 1st District seat held by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), has already advanced to that stage, which the NRCC says involves is reserved for its most competitive races.