RWDSU Endorses Kathleen Rice’s Congressional Bid

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice with RWDSU.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice with RWDSU. (Photo: RWDSU)

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice today netted the first major union endorsement in the race for retiring Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s seat.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union is backing Ms. Rice, a Democrat, for the seat Ms. McCarthy is vacating at the end of the year, Politicker has learned. Ms. McCarthy is retiring after revealing that she is battling lung cancer. 

“Kathleen Rice has a distinguished record as a problem solver and an advocate for social justice. She’s a leader who understands the importance of protecting and creating good jobs,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the 100,000-member RWDSU, said in a statement. “The RWDSU supports her campaign because we know that she will stand up for working families.”

The union’s endorsement represents the beginning of what may be the coalescing of the left-leaning and labor establishment around Ms. Rice’s candidacy. Though President Barack Obama won the district in 2012, it remains a swing seat with a sizable Republican population. No other candidates have officially declared their intentions to run, though national Republicans are eying the seat as part of a larger effort to bolster their congressional majority.

Several Democrats have reportedly expressed interest in running against Ms. Rice, but with her high profile and name recognition in Nassau County, Mr. Rice is the clear early favorite in the Democratic primary.

“I’ve stood up for working men and women my whole career, and I when I go to Congress their needs will always be at the top of my agenda. I’ve worked closely with RWDSU and the endorsement of these working families means a great deal to me personally,” Ms. Rice said in a statement. “It also means a great deal to the growing coalition of supporters that will propel us to victory on Primary Day and in November.”

Ms. Rice ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2010.

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair