Laura Gillen at an election returns party in November.

Laura Gillen at an election returns party in November. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Democrat Laura Gillen on Wednesday entered the 2024 congressional race in the 4th District, setting up a potential rematch against Republican Anthony D'Esposito, who took office in January.

Gillen, 53, of Rockville Centre, is an attorney and former Town of Hempstead supervisor who has pitched herself as a moderate Democrat. 

“There will be thousands and thousands of voices that were not heard in the last election and we will make sure they are heard,” said Gillen, whose 2022 campaign centered around abortion rights, gun control and environmental sustainability.

Gillen lost to D'Esposito last November when Long Island voters for the first time since 1994 elected all Republicans to House seats. D’Esposito defeated Gillen by 9,751 ballots, with 51.8% of the vote.

The seat was in Democratic hands for decades and held by Democrat Kathleen Rice for eight years. The district covers central and southern Nassau County.

Gillen in 2017 became Hempstead's first Democrat supervisor in more than a century. D'Esposito is a retired member of the NYPD, a former Hempstead Town Council member and a former administrative assistant at the Nassau County Board of Elections.

Gillen is the third candidate who has filed with the Federal Election Commission seeking the Democratic nomination in the race. 

Also running is Patricia Maher, 63, of Baldwin, who lost her 2014 bid against U.S. Rep. Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District. Lawrence Patrick Henry, 43,  of Baldwin, is also running, according to FEC filings.

State and Nassau County Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs said Gillen “proved herself a very hardworking candidate in the last election, and she certainly merits serious consideration for the next.”

Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo in a statement he was "confident that residents of the 4th District will re-elect Congressman Anthony D'Esposito based on his record of cutting taxes and keeping neighbors safe."  

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