The first race in 22 years for an open congressional seat in New York’s 4th District can now begin in earnest.
Kathleen Rice, Nassau County’s district attorney, beat Kevan Abrahams, the County Legislature’s minority leader, in the June 24 Democratic primary for the 4th Congressional District, which covers much of Nassau’s South Shore. In that day’s Republican primary, Bruce Blakeman, a former presiding officer of the County Legislature, defeated Frank Scaturro, a New Hyde Park attorney. Rice and Blakeman are now gearing for the summer and fall campaign seasons leading into November’s general election.
Both emerged from the primaries with comfortable margins of victory: Rice captured 56 percent of the Democratic vote to Abrahams’s 44 percent, while Blakeman took 65 percent of the Republican vote to Scaturro’s 34 percent, according to the County Board of Elections. Voter turnout was very low: just 5.98 percent of Democrats, 7.59 percent of Republicans and 17.64 percent of the Conservatives registered in the district cast ballots in the primaries.
Abrahams and Scaturro have not so far expressly backed their primary opponents in the general election, though they came close in interviews with the Herald. Abrahams said he spoke to Rice on June 24 after it became clear she had won the primary and wished her “all the best.” Nevertheless, he said, Rice’s campaign has not asked his endorsement. Scaturro said he has “not had a conversation with Bruce Blakeman” about an endorsement, but he was also quick to say he did not want to see Rice win election. Both Abrahams and Scaturro praised their staffs for working hard on their campaigns.
Rice and Blakeman are looking to replace Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a nine-term Democrat, who is retiring. McCarthy was diagnosed with lung cancer last June and announced this year that she would not seek another term. McCarthy endorsed Rice after national Democrats, including Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, vetted the DA.