Crowded congressional primary as Democrats vie to succeed Kathleen Rice

Four candidates are vying to succeed Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) in a crowded Democratic primary with two incumbents, a former city supervisor and a retired doctor running for office for the first time. local.

The seat opened in February when Rice announced she would retire at the end of the year after four terms.

The primary developed after Democratic Party leaders failed to win over potential candidates such as former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Legis County. Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) to introduce himself.

Open congressional seats are relatively rare on Long Island, but this year there are three — and the 4th District race drew candidates from all over Nassau, including two who raised more than $400,000 each, according to the federal campaign materials.

The 4th District candidates for the August 23 primary are:

  • Former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, a lawyer who in 2017 became the town’s first elected Democratic supervisor in more than a century.
  • Keith Corbett, mayor of Malverne Village and advocate for state and county Democratic committees.
  • Nassau County Legis. Carrié Solages de Lawrence, attorney and former Bronx district attorney.
  • Muzibul Huq, who worked as a doctor in Bangladesh before immigrating with his family to the United States.

Democratic candidates for the 4th district, from left to right: Keith Corbett, Laura Gillen, Dr Muzibul Huq and Carrié Solages.
Credit: James Escher

The winner will face Republican Anthony D’Esposito, 40, a Hempstead Town board member, volunteer firefighter and retired New York City police detective, in the Nov. 8 general election.

The 4th District encompasses the southwest region of Nassau County.

It extends west to Inwood and east to Wantagh and Seaford. It extends north to Garden City and Uniondale, and south to Long Beach, Lido Beach and Atlantic Beach.

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a margin of 228,462 to 154,669, providing a 43% to 29% registration advantage for Democrats.

Gillen, 53, leads the Democratic money race, with $385,241 in his coffers as of June 30. So far, she has raised $553,724 for the primary, according to her June 30 report to the Federal Election Commission.

Corbett had $310,838 on hand as of June 30 and had raised a total of $400,704, including $160,000 he lent to his campaign, according to FEC reports.

Solages had $82,565 on hand and had received a total of $143,385 as of June 30.

According to Huq’s June 30 report, he had $371 on hand and raised $26,085, including $14,100 he lent to his campaign.

While Jay Jacobs, chairman of the Nassau State and County Democratic Party, does not make an endorsement in the race, Gillen touts the endorsements of Rice and Rice’s predecessor, former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola ).

Gillen has made abortion rights a focus of his campaign.

“We are seeing a call to arms for women, and for people who care about women, and for people who care about girls, that we see our autonomy over our bodies and our health care decisions us be removed,” Gillen told Newsday.

“I’m the only person in this race who is directly impacted by this decision,” she said. “Everything is directly at stake for me, … and I think I have a voice that needs to be heard.”

Gillen won election as overseer of Hempstead Town in 2017, but lost re-election in 2019 to Republican Donald Clavin.

Gillen cites his record of improving the city’s contracting process, replacing many typewriters with computers and spending millions on road repairs.

She sued city council members to reverse 197 appointments, transfers and raises the council approved before she took office.

The lawsuit also challenged a protection the board adopted to prevent layoffs, even during a financial crisis.

A judge issued a split decision in 2019, ordering the non-firing clause overturned but deciding the staff transfers were legal.

Corbett, 43, said if elected to Congress he would champion abortion rights and work to secure funds to increase illegal gun seizures.

Corbett is a partner at Harris Beach law firm in Uniondale.

He also serves as chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee Law and oversees the selection of local judicial candidates for the party.

Corbett told Newsday that he has represented every elected Democrat in Nassau at one time or another.

“I’ve been there for them…every time,” he said.

Corbett was elected mayor of Malverne in 2019 after serving as deputy mayor.

While campaigning for Congress, Corbett points out that he had the roads in the village repaved and kept the village’s finances stable during the coronavirus pandemic.

But he has drawn criticism from community activists for his handling of a proposal to rename Lindner Place, a village street named for Paul Lindner, a local Ku Klux Klan leader in the 1920s.

Racial justice advocates, including some Malverne Union Free School District students, had been pressing Corbett since 2020 to rename the street.

Corbett hesitated, saying he needed time to consider the matter.

“I would like to know who he was as a person, what he did, good, bad or indifferent, and then let’s act on it, but I don’t want to jump just because you have a herd mentality that tells you a thing,” he told WCBS in January.

The groups said there was ample evidence of Lindner’s Klan membership and accused Corbett of slowing down the name change process.

Corbett joined other members of the village council in a unanimous March 31 vote to rename the street after declaring his search process complete.

Asked about criticism of his handling of the issue, Corbett said: “I think people who know me know I’m about the results. I think people look at my record, they know you can’t get more Democratic. than me. ”

Solages, 43, said he was inspired to run in the 4th District after the defeat of several Democratic incumbents, including former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, last year.

“We have to motivate the base, we have to give them a reason to come and vote,” Solages told Newsday.

“I think Democratic voters in Nassau County are tired of the same old type of cookie-cutter candidate…” Solages said. “They want something different, they want someone who’s energetic, who’s going out there, who can speak to multiple communities, who represented multiple communities and is strong on the core issues.

Solages, a lawyer, said if elected to Congress he would work to reduce inflation and make college more affordable.

During the congressional campaign, Solages touted his record as a county legislator in improving parks and establishing policing league programs in communities in his legislative district.

Solages voted against the county’s police reform package, which passed in 2021.

The plan, ordered by former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody, includes a body camera program to record interactions between police and residents.

Solages said the plan did not significantly strengthen outside oversight of police conduct.

In 2018, Solages solved a domestic violence case involving his arrest for allegedly assaulting his son’s mother and endangering his teenage daughter, admitting reduced charges of disorderly conduct.

Solages had to undergo a 26-week intervention program for abusers and undergo a drug test as part of a plea deal in which two misdemeanor charges were reduced to non-criminal offenses.

He told Newsday last week: “God forgave me, the community forgave me.”

Huq, 71, of Elmont, said he wanted to promote job creation, advocate for minority residents in his community and help ease “religious tensions around the world”.

A first-time local candidate, Huq said his health care background makes him best suited to represent the 4th congressional district.

He said he and his wife, an obstetrician-gynecologist, in 1989 helped found the Shaheen Clinic, a hospital focused on women’s health in Bangladesh.

He said he helped found the former Feni Medical College and Hospital, also in Bangladesh, in 1992.

Huq, his wife and three sons immigrated to the United States in 2005, eventually settling in Sunnyside, Queens. The family moved to Elmont in 2014.

In the United States, Huq has taught in physician assistant training programs and has also earned certification as a cardiac sonographer.

“They [are] the three lawyers,” Huq said of the other Democratic primary candidates.

“In a crisis of the pandemic, which we’re facing right now, you’re definitely more suited if you have a medical background,” he told Newsday.

4th CD Democratic Primary Candidates

Laura Gillen53, of Rockville Center, is an attorney who served as supervisor of Hempstead Town from 2018 to 2020. She has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a law degree from the NYU School of Law.

Keith Corbett, 43, is the mayor of Malverne Village and a partner in the Harris Beach law firm. He serves as Chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee Legal Counsel and Counsel to the State Democratic Committee. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and a law degree from New York Law School.

Carrie Solages, 43, of Lawrence, is an attorney who serves as a Nassau County legislator. He is also a former Bronx Assistant District Attorney. He holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Boston College Law School.

Muziboul Huq, 71, of Elmont, is a retired physician and educator. Huq graduated from Comilla Victoria Government College and Dhaka Medical College, both in Bangladesh. He and his family immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 2005.

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