A Herald interview with Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy
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I didn’t accomplish everything that I wanted to, and I hate the thought of leaving there, but I believe that with all the legislation that I passed, bipartisan and with three different presidents, that I am very proud of what I accomplished.
H: So you don’t think you were a one-issue representative?
CM: Everyone was saying that it was a one-issue campaign, but I got a lot more accomplished than that. By nature, women are multi-taskers. We see things in a different way.
H: What will you miss the most about Washington, D.C.?
CM: You make a lot of friends there. We’re in Washington during the week and come home on weekends. I made friendships on both sides of the aisle, and learned from them. Since I got sick, my colleagues would call me up, talk … we look out for each other. What [the public] sees is not really what happens. We sit, we talk about our home states. We do get along for the most part.
H: What are your plans? In what capacity would you still stay active in politics?
CM: My son, Kevin, and his wife, Leslie and my grandchildren (Denis, 15, and Grace, 13) live in Plainview. I will stay in the area, but I can’t stand the cold anymore. I may become a snowbird and move to Florida. I’ve missed a lot of family functions — weddings, baptisms … and I will spend more time with my family. I’m an active gardener. I’ll go back to being normal.
H: And you will be OK finishing out your term?
CM: I will be fine finishing out the term. I’m not retiring, I’m just not running for re-election. I will be back. I’ll be volunteering. I’d like to mentor, to make a change in someone’s life.
Well wishes from her fellow politicians
“Carolyn McCarthy has earned a reputation for principled and compassionate leadership. In particular, she’s been at the forefront of the issue that brought her to Washington seventeen years ago: reducing and preventing gun violence. She was also instrumental in the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act to prevent future financial crises, and has been a leading advocate for improving education, especially college affordability. Like many across the nation, Michelle and I admire Carolyn’s determination and personal strength. We thank her for her service, and send her and her family our warmest regards.”
President Barack Obama
“We’ll miss Carolyn in Washington. She was a very hardworking and conscientious member of Congress. Whatever political differences we had never stopped us from working together on issues regarding Long Island and New York. I wish her a very happy and healthy retirement with her family.”
Congressman Peter King
“During her 18 years in Congress, Carolyn has provided her constituents, congressional colleagues, and country with a sterling example of turning the unfathomable pain of losing her husband, and almost losing her son, to gun violence into policy advocacy for common sense gun reform. She is widely regarded on both sides of the aisle to be one of the bravest, most persevering and profoundly compassionate members of the House of Representatives. Carolyn’s clear voice and well-considered views have helped shape the bipartisan coalitions that enacted legislation aimed at creating a better life and brighter future for her constituents and for the American people as a whole.”
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks
“Unlike many of today’s legislators, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy first ran for and was elected to the House of Representatives as a citizen, not a politician. She was selected not by party leaders, but by her neighbors. Although we disagree on key issues, Congresswoman McCarthy has honorably represented the people of New York’s 4th Congressional District for nearly 18 years, sacrificing her private life in order to engage in public service. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her years of service, and offer my prayers for a full and speedy recovery from her illness.”
Candidate for Congress, 2012 and 2014
“Carolyn McCarthy is not only a colleague, but also a dear friend and fellow Long Islander. She is a shining example of how one can translate tragedy into meaningful public service. Carolyn leaves a legacy of standing up for Long Island families, advocating for the safety of our children and fighting for critical gun safety legislation. She will be deeply missed.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Israel
“Nassau County is losing a strong voice and advocate for the middle class who worked tirelessly. Her dedication, and most of all character, are unmatched.”
Chairman, Nassau County Democratic Committee
“I congratulate Carolyn McCarthy for a rewarding career in Congress, offer prayers for a full and speedy recovery in her battle against cancer and wish her happiness as she embarks upon a new chapter in her life.”
Town of Hempstead Supervisor