Nassau DA Kathleen Rice says now is not the time to discuss congressional run

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Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice declined to comment Thursday regarding her interest in Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s congressional seat.

McCarthy announced Wednesday that she would not run for re-election and Rice, a Democrat elected to her third term in November, has been long considered a likely candidate to run for her seat.

But, at a news conference on Thursday announcing the arrest of several suspects in a burglary ring, Rice declined to comment on a potential run for higher office.

“I don’t think now is the time to talk about anything related to politics at all,” Rice said. “Now is the time to focus on the incredible good work [McCarthy] has done representing us. And we will see who is the one that will carry on in her footsteps."

A Democratic official who knows Rice said the district attorney was “undecided” as of Wednesday afternoon, but that she was “exploring the possibility” of a run.

Two Nassau legislators, Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) and Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick), are both mulling runs for the seat.

“I am keeping my options open,” said Abrahams, who just began his seventh term in the legislature.

Denenberg said he is considering a run either for McCarthy’s seat or for the State Senate seat vacated last week by Republican Charles Fuschillo.

“I am looking at both races," said Denenberg, who just began his eighth term in the legislature. “I am leaning towards Congress first but am considering both options.”

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate. Nassau County Legis. Francis Becker (R-Lynbrook) and attorney Frank Scaturro, a Republican who challenged McCarthy in the past, have said they are interested.

Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) said Thursday he’s likely to remain in the State Senate but said he will consider joining the race.

With Paul LaRocco

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