Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, said the 4th Congressional District favors Democrats, but either party could win it. “What makes this district potentially one of the most competitive in the country,” Levy said, “is that there is a strong Republican organization. It is a non-presidential year, so Democratic minority voters generally don’t come out in as great a number in the district. And, if the Nassau Republican Party wanted to make a full-court press for this, and they were willing to put up an A-List candidate, they could attract millions of dollars to win it.”
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, a Levittown Republican, had been discussed as a potential candidate, but she announced last Friday that she will not run.
Francis Becker, a Republican Nassau County legislator from Lynbrook who ran against McCarthy and lost in 2010 and 2012, has indicated on his website that he may run again for the seat this year. “I am a proven fighter for the people who has already cut spending and the size of government as a county legislator,” Becker wrote. “I have done it here and I will do it in Washington when finally elected in 2014.”
Ian Prior, the northeastern regional press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Republicans have an “excellent opportunity” to recapture McCarthy’s seat from Democratic control. “2014 is really going to be a referendum on Obamacare,” Prior said. “Even in districts like NY-4, which nominally have a slight Democratic tinge, we think we’re going to have the advantage.”
Levy cautioned, however, that a Republican running on a largely anti-Obama platform may not play well in the 4th District. “It’s clear that the Republican Party is going to go all in on Obamacare,” Levy said. “But every congressional race is a local race. And this is a moderate district that leans Democratic.”