Congressman Steve Israel was a rising star within the House Democratic leadership, with prominent committee assignments and influence with the President.

He had led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, formulating campaign strategy and setting fundraising priorities for House Democrats in the 2012 and 2014 cycles.

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He shocked political observers in Washington and on Long Island when he announced in January that he wouldn’t seek re-election.

The campaign began as soon as Israel made his announcement in January, 308 days before the election.

"Open Seat" is a serial documentary produced by Sam Guzik for the editorial board.

We’ll be following developments in the 3rd Congressional District and posting regular video updates. There will be additional chapters leading up to the primary on June 28, through election day and until January, when a new representative is sworn in.

To see the next video in this series, the cost of running for Congress, click here.