U.S. Congress, 4th District

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WATCH: Island Vote in-studio debate for this race

Ameer N. Benno 
Republican

Background: Benno, 42, of Bellmore, is also running on the Conservative and Reform lines. Benno is an attorney with a private law practice headquartered in Manhattan, specializing in civil rights and constitutional law. He previously served as an attorney at a civil litigation law firm in Manhattan and as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's office. He has a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Cornell University. He serves on numerous committees of the Nassau County Bar Association and is a member of National Police Accountability Project, an executive officer of the Nassau Lawyers' Association of Long Island. He is married, with three children.

Issues: Benno said improving infrastructure on Long Island, especially the Long Island Rail Road, would be a primary goal, if elected. "I see firsthand how awful it is," he said  of the LIRR. Benno said he would seek to use federal tax benefits to spur public-private partnerships that could bring additional revenue to the transit system. He also said he would pursue federal funding to shore up local flood resiliency infrastructure. Benno also cited immigration and border security as primary policy concerns. He said he would like to expand physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, which he thinks could also help cut off the trail of illegal opioids into Long Island and other parts of the country. He also said he would seek to eliminate the cap on state and local tax deductions in federal income taxes.

Kathleen M. Rice
Democratic

Background: Rice, 53, of Garden City, was elected to Congress in 2014, succeeding Carolyn McCarthy, who retired. She is running on the Democrat and Women's Equality Party lines. Rice serves on the House committees on Homeland Security and Veterans' Affairs. She has a bachelor's degree from Catholic University of America and a law degree from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. She began her career as a prosecutor in the Brooklyn district attorney's office in 1992 and became an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia in 1999. In 2005, she became the first woman elected as Nassau County district attorney. Rice was re-elected district attorney in 2009 and again in 2013. She sought the Democratic nomination for state attorney general in 2010, finishing second in a five-way primary. Rice has also served as president of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York.

Issues: Rice said she would continue to advocate for "common sense gun legislation" if re-elected, and expressed support for universal background checks and curtailing the sale of AR-15-style rifles and high-capacity gun magazines. She also said she supports creating a "path to citizenship" for the immigrants known as "dreamers" who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Recently she has introduced legislation aimed at prohibiting members of Congress from sitting on corporate boards and at reducing student loan debt. "Kids are just drowning" in student loan debt, she said. "It's the next big financial bubble to burst." She also said Congress should seek to improve the Affordable Care Act, for example, by seeking to boost enrollment in its health insurance plans by spending more to promote enrollment periods.

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