A former Nassau County correction officer will challenge Rep. Kathleen Rice in a Democratic primary in June, arguing the second-term congresswoman is beholden to corporate interests and is not progressive enough on health care.
Bob Shanlin, 60, of Bellmore, who worked in the county jail in East Meadow for 25 years before retiring as a sergeant in 2008, said he will not accept campaign contributions of any kind during his campaign for the 4th Congressional District seat in Nassau.
Shanlin said Rice (D-Garden City) and other Democrats are beholden to corporations that support their campaigns. He also said Rice should support a single-payer health care system.
“I want to set an example that this can be done,” said Shanlin, who is making his first run for public office. “I want to represent voters, not donors.”
Shanlin said he has always been politically active, protesting the Vietnam War as a teenager and later joining Occupy Wall Street marches. He said that while working in the jail, he led a successful campaign to ban smoking from the facility.
“Congresswoman Rice is proud to run for re-election on her record of putting her constituents first and fighting for Long Island priorities in Washington,” said Rice spokesman Coleman Lamb.
Rice has nearly $718,000 in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The candidates must submit 1,250 valid signatures on nominating petitions by April 12 to get on the ballot for the June 26 primary.