Legislative Minority Leader Abrahams will not seek re-election

Legislative Minority Leader Abrahams will not seek re-election
Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) will not run for re-election this fall. (Photo courtesy of the legislator's office)

Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) announced in a statement Friday he will not be running for re-election this year.

Abrahams, who was elected to serve the county’s 1st District in 2001, expressed his gratitude for his constituents and Nassau residents for allowing him to serve as a leader for more than 20 years.

He did not provide a specific reason for not seeking re-election to his seat.

“It has been a great privilege and an honor to serve my constituency and advocate for change,” Abrahams said in a statement. “I am grateful to all my colleagues for their support throughout the years and to my constituents for allowing me to continue to represent them for over two decades.”

Abrahams served as a legislative assistant and deputy district director for former U.S. Rep. Floyd H. Flake and a district representative for former 4th District U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy. He initially joined the Nassau County staff as the deputy finance director in 2000 and then as Nassau’s finance director.

Abrahams was named the Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader in 2011. In 2014, he ran against former U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice in the Democratic primary to succeed McCarthy’s seat in Congress. Abrahams received 5,791 votes, losing to Rice’s 7,770 votes.

The 1st District includes the communities of Freeport, Roosevelt, Uniondale and East Meadow.

Abraham’s district, under newly-approved legislative maps, has an increased number of enrolled Republicans than the current ones, but still has more than 21,000 registered Democrats compared to 10,000 registered Republicans, according to the data.

Abrahams previously said there is likely no scenario in which the maps “will not be challenged in court,” following the adoption of the maps in February. 

“By passing this illegal map, the Republican Majority has recklessly placed Nassau County on a collision course towards numerous lawsuits that will ultimately cost taxpayers millions of dollars,” Abrahams said last month.

Abrahams also bashed the GOP proposal for “diluting the voting power of minority communities across” Nassau County, including having an “Asian-American influence district.”

The map, he said, goes against parts of the federal Voting Rights Act and the John. R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York.

An analysis of the maps by Blank Slate Media showed that Democratic enrollment outweighs Republicans in 15 of the 19 recently approved legislative districts.

The legislature will now have to find officials to fill the minority and majority leader positions, as Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) announced he will also not be running for re-election in March.

Nicolello, 63, said being a legislator has been “a long commitment and it takes its toll on a family.”  The long-serving legislator lauded the Nassau GOP for having “a lot of talent” as it looks for someone to succeed him.

After serving in Nassau County for nearly three decades, Nicolello has served the previous six years as the Republican leader. Abrahams, last month, said he was grateful all of the debates between he and Nicolello did not “undermine” their friendship and wished him well.

Nicolello’s 9th Legislative District includes New Hyde Park, Garden City Park, Mineola, Williston Park, Albertson, Roslyn Estates, Munsey Park and Plandome.

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