Rice’s announcement additionally implies that Lengthy Island’s Home delegation will probably be nearly fully new in 2023 as a result of two different native representatives, 1st District Republican Lee Zeldin and third District Democrat Tom Suozzi, every introduced that they have been leaving to run for governor. Freshman Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino, who was elected the final cycle after longtime Rep. Peter King retired, shouldn’t have any bother successful now that his 2nd District has turn out to be significantly extra conservative, which might make him the world’s most senior congressman. (Veteran Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks additionally represents a small portion of Nassau County, however nearly 90% of his safely blue fifth District is made up of his Queens base.)
Rice, who acquired her begin as a prosecutor in Queens earlier than taking a put up within the U.S. lawyer’s Philadelphia workplace, registered to vote as a Republican in 1984, although she by no means solid a poll till 2002. She joined the Democratic Social gathering in 2005, the identical yr celebration leaders recruited her to challenge Nassau County District Legal professional Denis Dillon, who had first received this workplace in 1974 as a Democrat and became a Republican in 1989 over his opposition to abortion rights.
Dillon had convincingly received his final time period in 2001 by a 56-44 margin, however Rice ran a marketing campaign the place she accused the incumbent of treating his workplace as “his birthright,” providing too many plea bargains, and doing a poor job investigating abuse allegations involving the native Catholic Church. Rice additionally argued that Dillon, who had run for governor in 1986 because the nominee of the Proper to Life Social gathering, allowed his anti-abortion views to intrude together with his capability to do his job. The Democrat, who proved to be a robust fundraiser, in the end ended up unseating Dillon in a tight 51-49 contest.
Rice ran statewide for lawyer basic in 2010 when Andrew Cuomo efficiently campaigned for governor, and the crowded major for this highly effective workplace generated little attention till the ultimate weeks earlier than Election Day. State Sen. Eric Schneiderman, although, made her half as a Republican a difficulty, and he ended up beating her 34-32; self-funding lawyer Sean Coffey scored 16%, with a lot of his assist coming from upstate counties the place Rice in any other case carried out properly. Rice decisively won a third term at house in 2013 in what was an in any other case horrible evening for Nassau County Democrats, which made her a compelling recruit when Rep. Carolyn McCarthy retired early the subsequent yr.
Rice won the 4th District Democratic primary 57-43 towards County Legislator Kevan Abrahams, who ran to her left however raised little cash. She spent many of the cycle trying just like the clear favourite towards Blakeman in a seat Barack Obama had carried 56-43 in 2012. Nonetheless, a Republican group known as Unbiased Majority Group launched a $450,000 purchase within the ultimate days to spice up Blakeman, who held her to a 53-47 win throughout that GOP wave yr.
Rice received her subsequent time period with ease, and whereas she thought-about one other run for lawyer basic in 2018 when Schneiderman resigned after a number of ladies accused him of bodily abuse, she opted to remain within the Home. Nonetheless, the congresswoman had an acrimonious relationship with Pelosi, whom she’d publicly known as to step down as Democratic chief. Rice additionally took half within the disorganized failed try to maintain Pelosi out of the speaker’s chair in 2019 after Democrats regained management of the chamber, and Nassau County Legislator Siela Bynoe responded by threatening to problem her for renomination; Pelosi, for her half, quickly blocked Rice from taking a spot on the Home Judiciary Committee.
Rice, nonetheless, went on to win her ultimate time period with none severe intra-party or GOP opposition, and Pelosi quickly awarded her old critic a spot on the Home Committee on Power and Commerce that fellow New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wished.