By Patrick Donachie
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) endorsed Suffolk County legislator Steve Stern as his replacement for the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Little Neck, Whitestone, Glen Oaks and Floral Park.
The announcement came during a news conference in Port Washington Monday.
“While I admire all of the Democratic candidates, I believe that Steve Stern is best able to continue and build on my four priorities in Congress: consistently supporting women’s rights, standing up for U.S.-Israel relations, and demonstrating leadership on the environment and veterans,” Israel said.
He also said that Stern was the candidate best positioned to defeat the eventual Republican challenger for the seat, who Israel claimed would likely be backed by Super PACs and supporters of the Tea Party.
Stern is in the midst of his sixth term as a legislator for Suffolk County’s 16th District, which includes parts of the towns of Huntington, Babylon and Islip.
He is running in the Democratic primary against former Glen Cove Mayor Tom Suozzi, North Hempstead Town Board Member Anna Kaplan, former North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and attorney Jonathan Clarke.
At Monday’s event, Stern said that he and Israel had been friends for years, and lauded the retiring congressman for his work on trying to attain equal pay at work for women and in protecting the environment.
“I am honored to receive Rep. Israel’s support and humbled by the confidence he placed in me,” Stern said. “This endorsement is particularly meaningful for me because Rep. Israel and I share so many of the same priorities.”
The primary elections for the Democratic and Republican candidates will be held on June 28, followed by the general election Nov. 8.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona