U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) announced on Tuesday that she will not run for re-election in the 4th Congressional District.
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,” she continued. “As I turn to the next chapter of my own personal and professional story, I do so with profound thanks to the community leaders, colleagues and staff who have lived our shared commitment to service with courage and humility.”
Efforts to reach Rice, who made the announcement on her 57th birthday, for further comment were unavailing.
Before running for Congress, Rice began her career as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn after receiving a Juris Doctor degree from the Touro Law Center. In 1999, she was appointed as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia.
Rice then defeated 31-year incumbent Denis Dillon in the 2005 election for Nassau County district attorney. Rice served in that position from 2006 to 2014, expanding efforts to combat public corruption and crack down on drunken driving, which led to an overhaul of the state’s DWI laws.
In 2014, Rice ran in the 4th Congressional District, which comprises central and southern Nassau County, including Floral Park, Garden City, Hempstead, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park and Westbury. She defeated Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman in the process.
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.
Nassau County and New York Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs told Newsday he believe’s Rice’s choice to not run for re-election was a “personal decision” and that the party “should be fine” finding a candidate to replace her.
“We just have to find the right candidate,” Jacobs told Newsday. “This is a district that needs a moderate Democrat with broad-based appeal.”
Efforts to reach Jacobs for further comment were unavailing.
Whoever the party selects to run for Rice’s seat will also be representing constituents from the villages of East Williston, Williston Park, Lake Success, Mineola and some unincorporated parts of the Town of North Hempstead, according to the newly drawn redistricting maps.