Jacobs told the Herald this week that while Rice has emerged as Washington Democrats’ preferred candidate, he is withholding his endorsement because Kevan Abrahams, the Nassau County Legislature’s minority leader and a Freeport Democrat, remains a potential candidate. “I would say that if there is no primary, I very much look forward to seeing Kathleen Rice go to Congress,” Jacobs said.
The primary field
Rice had a large lead over other Nassau Democrats in a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll of likely Democratic primary voters, according to sources familiar with the poll. Rice received 46 percent of favorable responses. Dave Denenberg, a Nassau County legislator from Merrick, placed second in the poll at 21 percent; Abrahams placed third at 10 percent; and 20 percent of respondents were undecided. In mid-January, Rice met with top Democrats in Washington, including DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, of Huntington, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden, to discuss a Congressional run.
“Leaders in Congress know that Kathleen Rice is the strongest candidate in this district, and she will be the best representative for this district when she goes to Washington,” Phillips said. “There’s no doubt that this race will be extraordinarily expensive… so it’s going to take a candidate who can put the resources together to win.”
Abrahams spokesman Jeff Giullot said that Rice’s candidacy has not affected the minority leader’s interest in running for McCarthy’s seat. “Kevan continues to explore this opportunity in earnest,” Giullot said.
Abrahams became the first Democratic candidate to create a campaign committee when Giullot filed a statement of organization for the committee with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 24. His campaign held its first fundraiser on Jan. 29 at the Carltun in Eisenhower Park.
General election prospects