State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Pelham) has entered the Democratic primary...

State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Pelham) has entered the Democratic primary in the 3rd Congressional District. Credit: AP / Hans Pennink

New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Pelham) declared her candidacy for Congress Monday, entering the increasingly crowded Democratic primary in the newly drawn Third Congressional District.

The district that stretches from Suffolk and Nassau counties into Queens also covers parts of the Bronx and Westchester County since the State Legislature approved new congressional district boundaries last week.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who represents the Third District, is not seeking reelection as he wages a primary challenge against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Biaggi, 35, of Pelham, told Newsday that, if elected, she would fight in Congress to protect voting rights, reverse climate change, implement universal prekindergarten and restore the full state and local tax deduction.

Federal legislation in 2017 set a $10,000 limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

"More than probably ever before, hardworking people and families, in this district and across the entire state, and across the entire country are begging for a new generation of strong fearless, relentless leaders in Washington," Biaggi said.

"That tide of energy and philosophy is how I'm going to use my voice in Congress every single day to make sure that we are unrelenting and also are pushing for the things that we should be doing better or differently in this country, and I will not be quiet about it," Biaggi said. Biaggi, a graduate of New York University and Fordham University Law School, worked for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign before becoming an attorney in the governor's Office of Storm Recovery.

Her grandfather, the late Mario Biaggi, was a 10-term Democratic congressman from the Bronx.

Alessandra Biaggi won her State Senate seat in 2018, defeating longtime State Sen. Jeff Klein, a leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.

Members of the conference had a power-sharing agreement with Republican state senators.

Biaggi's victory, along with those of other challengers to IDC members, helped Democrats retake control of the Senate.

As a state senator, Biaggi served as a sponsor of new sexual harassment legislation.

The measure made it easier for victims of sexual harassment to pursue by eliminating the standard that the abuse had to be "severe or pervasive."

Democrats who have announced bids for the Third District seat include: Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic national committeeman from Great Neck; Nassau County Legis. Josh Lafazan, of Woodbury; Suffolk Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman, of Great Neck; Melanie D'Arrigo, a progressive activist from Port Washington; and Reema Rasool, an Oyster Bay businesswoman.

Republican candidates include George Santos, an investment company manager who ran unsuccessfully against Suozzi in 2020.

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