Suffolk's Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman Kaiman was the North Hempstead town...

Suffolk's Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman Kaiman was the North Hempstead town supervisor for a decade and generally received kudos for his work there. Credit: Corey Sipkin

The last time New York’s 3rd Congressional District featured a wide-open race was in 2016, after Steve Israel announced his eighth term would be his last.

A large Democratic field developed, and Suffolk County Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman was one of five candidates to jump in, finishing third to Tom Suozzi, the former two-term Nassau County executive.

Suozzi, who is currently running for governor, won the primary and defeated Jack Martins by six points in the general election.

Now, Kaiman says he’s seriously considering another run for the seat. His pondering is becoming public just as Attorney General Tish James’ quick exit from the gubernatorial fray Thursday is shaking up all the marquee races on tap for next year.

Kaiman was the North Hempstead town supervisor for a decade and generally received kudos for his work there. He also led the Superstorm Sandy recovery effort, New York Rising, for former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. And he was chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority in 2014 when it lifted the county wage freeze and approved union contracts that required new county employees to pay part of their pension and health care premiums.

Speaking to The Point Wednesday, Kaiman said, "I’m looking at my options for putting a run together over the next few weeks. It makes sense in terms of timing, because Steve Bellone’s administration is going to end in two years, and so the time for my next thing is coming."

Kaiman also said working in Suffolk, which is "such a big part of the district" and earning a master's in public administration from Harvard University broadened his perspective.

Kaiman said he’ll decide over the next few weeks whether he will fully commit to a run, and acknowledged that one thing that would knock him out is Suozzi deciding to abandon his gubernatorial campaign and run for reelection to Congress.

But Kaiman said he’s spoken to Suozzi at length, and thinks he is committed to his Albany run.

One Democratic candidate, Melanie D’Arrigo, who lost a primary in 2020 running to the left of Suozzi, has declared for the race. Democratic National Committee member and communications professional Robert Zimmerman, who has contemplated campaigning for the seat in the past, told The Point Thursday he is "seriously considering a run," touting his longtime advocacy of Long Island and saying he’s drawn to it because he believes "this next Congress could be the most impactful in our history." And Nassau County Legis. Josh Lafazan told The Point Thursday he is "seriously considering a run," and will make a final decision soon.

The question today is whether Suozzi feels he’s strengthened by James’ departure, because he has a shot at a wider swath of the moderate lane in trying to defeat incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Meanwhile, James’ decision to seek another term as attorney general could trickle down to shaking up plenty of races, as some hopeful AG candidates drop out and potentially go looking for the greener pastures of easier races.

And Kaiman will have to concern himself with where Suozzi will end up grazing before he commits fully.

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