- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - A Long Island prosecutor hoping to replace a stalwart gun-control advocate who is retiring from Congress must first win a primary fight with a Nassau County legislator for the Democratic nomination in the 4th Congressional District.

Kathleen Rice, a three-term district attorney who ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2010, is seeking the seat held by retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy. She announced earlier this year she will not seek a 10th term in the House after disclosing she was fighting cancer.

Rice is facing Kevan Abrahams, who is the leader of the Democratic caucus in the county legislature. McCarthy, who became a national figure in the gun control debate after her husband was killed and son wounded in the 1993 Long Island Rail Road massacre, has endorsed Rice.

Rice has attracted national attention for her crackdowns on drunken driving and cheating on college entrance exams. Abrahams argues he has more legislative experience than his opponent.

By early June, Rice had raised $2,116,238, or about 10 times more than her challenger, Abrahams, who had collected $162,132, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The race also will see a Republican primary, where Bruce Blakeman, a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioner, is running against political outsider Frank Scaturro, who has made several unsuccessful bids for the nomination.

Blakeman had raised $403,426 as of early June, compared with $189,482 raised by Scaturro. Blakeman is the choice of the GOP organization in Nassau County, while Scaturro has been a frequent critic of those running the party.

Blakeman also is known as the ex-husband of Nancy Shevell, who married former Beatle Paul McCartney in 2011.

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