State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) has suspended his bid to...

State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) has suspended his bid to unseat Republican Rep. Anthony D'Esposito in the 4th Congressional District. Credit: Jeff Bachner

State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) said Thursday he is suspending his bid for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 4th Congressional District, as party leaders look to clear the field for former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen.

Gillen is seeking a rematch against Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park). Gillen, the Democrats’ nominee in 2022, lost to D’Esposito that year by 3 percentage points.

In a statement on the social media site X, Thomas wrote: "Although I am no longer running for Congress, my service to the people of Long Island is far from over." He did not give details about his future plans.

Thomas is not running for reelection to the State Senate, where he's served since 2019. A new redistricting map moved him out of the 6th Senate District in 2022. Incumbents who no longer live in their districts have two years to move into the new district's boundaries.

The 4th Congressional District covers southwestern Nassau County. Jay Jacobs, chairman of Nassau and state Democrats, said Gillen "is by far the strongest candidate" in the race.

“She’s known by the voters, trusted by the voters and will represent the voters better than anyone else in the district," Jacobs said.

“Kevin Thomas is a great public servant, and I appreciate that he’s putting party over personal ambition and doing the right thing," Jacobs said. "I know that in due course, he will find himself in elected office once again.”  

D'Esposito had $1.2 million in campaign cash through the end of 2023, according the Federal Election Commission. Gillen has raised $500,838, while Thomas reported $352,048.

Other Democrats who have filed for the race include former Nassau County Legis. David Denenberg, of Merrick, and Patricia Maher, of Baldwin, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014 as the party's 2nd District nominee. Gian Jones, a real estate professional from Woodmere, also filed. The three said on Thursday they planned to stay in the race. 

To get on the primary ballot, they'll need to collect a total of 1,250 signatures from the district's enrolled Democrats, and file them with the elections board by April 4. Petitioning started on Thursday.  

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