Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams Wednesday will announce his candidacy to succeed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, setting up a likely Democratic primary with District Attorney Kathleen Rice, according to a party source.
Abrahams, 39, of Freeport, has spent recent weeks fundraising as he explored a campaign in the 4th Congressional District that McCarthy (D-Mineola) has represented since 1997.
Aides to Abrahams, who declined to comment Tuesday, recently said the lawmaker may need to raise $500,000 to mount a serious challenge against Rice for the Democratic nomination. Abrahams hasn't revealed fundraising figures, but he had planned to make his decision this week -- the first that nominating petitions can be submitted to get on the June primary ballot.
Rice, who announced her campaign in January, already has the backing of McCarthy, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and several labor unions. She is expected to raise several million dollars, and this week was named by the DCCC as one of their top 16 new House recruits.
Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said he won't make an endorsement out of respect for both candidates. In a letter to party committeemen last week he cited Rice's and Abrahams' "deep roots" in the party committee. "I leave it to each member of the Committee to make their own judgment," Jacobs wrote.
Abrahams' decision to run means both major parties could see bruising 4th District primaries this year. Nassau Republicans are backing Bruce Blakeman, former presiding officer of the county legislature, but New Hyde Park attorney Frank Scaturro also is seeking the GOP nomination.
Scaturro lost the Republican primary in 2012, but won the Conservative Party line. He ultimately finished third in the general election to McCarthy and Nassau Legis. Francis X. Becker Jr. (R-Lynbrook).