Former Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen announced on Friday that she will run in the 4th Congressional District race.
Gillen, who served as supervisor for the largest township in the United States from 2018-19, was the first Democrat elected to the position in a century in an upset over incumbent Anthony Santino.
Now shifting her focus to a congressional campaign, Gillen said, some of her focus will be on aiding Nassau County’s middle-class families and addressing issues such as gun violence and climate change.
“Long Island needs a champion who’s going to go to Washington and roll up her sleeves to get things done for families back home,” Gillen said in a statement. “I’m ready to get to work to make Nassau more affordable, to protect our democracy that’s so sacred, and to tackle the tough issues facing the next Congress like gun violence and climate change.”
The 4th Congressional District comprises central and southern Nassau County, including Floral Park, Garden City, Hempstead, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park and Westbury. Under newly drawn redistricting maps, it also takes in the villages of East Williston, Williston Park, Lake Success and some unincorporated parts of the Town of North Hempstead.
Prior to serving as supervisor, Gillen worked at the law firm of Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein.
Gillen’s announcement came days after Nassau County Legislator Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury) announced her candidacy for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), who will not run for re-election this year.
Rice, who was first elected to Congress in 2014 and is in the midst of her fourth term, said in a tweet that elected officials “must give all we have and then know when it is time to allow others to serve.”
“Though I will not be running for re-election to Congress this year, I will remain focused on protecting our democracy and serving my constituents throughout the rest of my term,” Rice continued.
With Rice deciding not to run for re-election, she becomes the 30th Democratic member of Congress to bow out of the fall elections, including U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who represents the 3rd Congressional District on the North Shore and is running for governor.
Gillen recognized the importance of having Democratic representation in Congress and said she looks forward to bringing a “common-sense, results-oriented approach to Washington.”
“This seat could very well decide who controls Congress next year, and I’m eager to hit the campaign trail so we can keep the Fourth District in the Democratic column and deliver for Nassau’s middle-class families,” Gillen said.