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Rep. Rice withdraws from contention in attorney general race

Rep. Kathleen Rice, seen here on March 4,

Rep. Kathleen Rice, seen here on March 4, 2017. Credit: Steve Pfost

ALBANY — Rep. Kathleen Rice on Tuesday withdrew from consideration to become the next state attorney general.

Rice (D-Garden City) said she was encouraged by others to run, but noted that state law prohibits her from running for state attorney general at the same time she seeks re-election to Congress.Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, resigned as attorney general a week after four women he dated accused him of physical abuse and assault, opening a scramble for the post.

“I am excited to seek a third term in Congress and hope to continue representing my constituents in Washington at this critical moment in our nation’s history,” Rice said in a statement. “I am confident that New Yorkers will choose an Attorney General who is worthy of our faith and our trust. We must demand no less.”

Rice’s decision ends speculation about how elections for political seats below her in Nassau County would shake out because of the opening.

The State Legislature on Tuesday was scheduled to begin interviewing more than a dozen candidates to fill the role on an interim basis until Dec. 31, when Schneiderman’s term ends.

Voters will choose an attorney for a full four-year term in the fall.

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