WOODBURY - Bruce Blakeman, the former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, says he will run for Congress in the 4th District.

As News 12 has reported, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy is battling lung cancer and will not seek re-election after 18 years in Congress.

Blakeman, a Republican, joins the race, which features Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Nassau County Legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams is raising money to explore a candidacy.

β€œI'm not going to take Kevan or Kathleen lightly,” Blakeman told News 12. β€œIt's going to be a hard fought campaign and it's going to be fought on the issues.”

Blakeman was born in Oceanside, grew up in Valley Stream and currently lives in Long Beach.

His formal announcement was held at Ancona Pizza in Valley Stream today. Rep. Peter King was on-hand to throw his support behind his fellow Republican.