Republican state Sen. Jack Martins on Thursday night filed to create a fundraising committee with the Federal Election Commission so he can begin raising the $3 million or more experts say is needed to wage a competitive congressional run.
Martins, of Old Westbury, made the move only two days after Democratic Rep. Steve Israel announced that he would not seek re-election in November in the 3rd District, which spans the Gold Coast of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.
“This is the first step in a run for Congress . . . This allows Jack Martins to take all appropriate steps to organize to win the election in November,” said E. O’Brien Murray, Martins’ campaign strategist.
He added the move is necessary because Martins has already begun getting commitments of financial support from backers. “The support has been overwhelming throughout the district, Murray said.
Martins is the first elected official in the already crowded field of potential contenders to form a fundraising committee. Another Republican, David Gurfein, a retired U.S. Marine from Manhasset, formed an exploratory committee last year and campaign aides say he has raised $250,000.
Michele Reisner, of Arlington, Virginia, will serve as treasurer for “Martins for Congress.” Details of his fundraising will not become public until mid-April.
Experts say showing ability as a fundraiser is crucial for contenders to be taken seriously and increase their chances of thwarting a possible June 28 primary.
The names of two other possible candidates for Israel’s seat — attorney and lobbyist Brad Gerstman and Todd Richman, a businessman active in Jewish philanthropies — also surfaced Thursday, bringing the field of potential candidates to 10 on the Democratic side. In all, there are six potential GOP contenders.