BY JOE MARVILLI
Nassau County’s district attorney has put her name in the ring for retiring U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-Garden City) seat, a part of which is in Queens.
Kathleen Rice, the DA for Nassau County since 2005, announced her bid for the seat on Jan. 30, less than a month after McCarthy announced that she would step down after struggling with health issues in the last few years.
Rice, the first woman to serve as Nassau’s chief law enforcement officer, has been known for her progressive criminal justice policies. Soon after taking office, she helped to author and fought for the passage of legislation to enact tougher penalties on individuals who drink and drive with children in the car and on drunk drivers who injure other motorists on the road. She also worked to reduce plea bargaining for repeat offenders.
In 2008, Rice put together the Terrace-Bedell Initiative, a program that took aim at Hempstead’s open-air drug market. By focusing on substance abuse treatment, job training and counseling, the program helped to cause an 82 percent drop in drug-related crime in the subsequent years.
She also tackled government corruption by bringing more than 80 prosecutions against elected officials from both parties who have abused the system.
Some more under-the-radar problems were also confronted and improved by Rice, such as widespread cheating on the SAT and ACT exams and shopper deaths due to trampling.
Her work has garnered the approval of her district, as she was re-elected in both 2009 and 2013.
With her announcement, Rice said that she plans to follow in McCarthy’s footsteps, especially when it comes to combating gun violence and advocating for communities in need.
For more information or to contribute, visit www.kathleenrice.com.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.