Kathleen Rice ready to step up as New York State attorney general
Nassau County District Attorney, the only female in the race for New York State attorney general, says she’s the one who has the experience to restore confidence in state government. She explains her campaign to April Drew.
She may be the only female contender running to replace Andrew Cuomo as attorney general of New York, but Kathleen Rice doesn’t feel like an underdog.
Rice, 45, has fought her whole life to get where she is today. Currently the district attorney of Nassau County, Long Island, Rice believes her work ethic and dedication to her craft come from her Irish upbringing.
“Coming from a large Catholic Irish family you learn a lot about how to speak up for yourself, fight for yourself and your siblings,” Rice told the Irish Voice during a telephone interview on Friday, August 27.
“I think public service is a great tradition in the Irish community and I’ve been in public service my whole life, and of course getting into politics, as I did five years ago, is historically a very Irish tradition as well,” she said proudly.
Rice, who lives in Garden City where she grew up, is proud of her grandparents who came to the U.S. in search of a better life with as little as $20 in their back pocket.
Her paternal grandfather, from Co. Roscommon, arrived in the U.S. in 1892 and quickly made a life for himself as well as providing for his family back in Ireland.
“He was able to bring over his brothers and sisters who wanted to come in very short order,” Rice said.
Rice’s father Lawrence grew up in Forest Hills, Queens and her mother Christine, whose family emigrated from Co. Roscommon and Co. Sligo, married in New York in 1953. They later had 10 children.
Rice holds the land of her ancestors dear to her heart, and spent two “wonderful” vacations in Ireland with family in recent years.
On her first Irish vacation in 2002 she took it upon herself to run the Dublin City Marathon and was “extremely proud” to have completed it in a timely fashion.
“That was a really great experience, but it was the second visit that was much more of a trip down memory lane,” she explains.
During her second trip Rice, accompanied by family including her father, went in search of some family history and spent a good deal of time in Co. Monaghan.
“It was so nice, just to see how my father enjoyed it. The last time he’d been there I think he was four years old so it was really special,” she recalls fondly.
In November 2005, Rice defeated 31 year incumbent Denis Dillon to become the first woman elected district attorney in suburban Long Island history.
In 2009 she cruised to re-election, defeating her Republican opponent by more than eight percentage points despite sweeping Democratic losses throughout Nassau County.
Prior to being elected to office, Rice served as an award-winning federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice. She began her career as an assistant district attorney the Brooklyn DA's office, where she was eventually appointed to serve in the office's homicide bureau.
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I find it amusing that the mouthy canuck actually is stupid enough to think everyone in the US is "packing heat." Maybe you can't spell gunNatasha McShane’s family living a ‘nightmare’ as Heriberto Viramontes’ trial begins
Someone who is proud to be a Canuck is not really in any position to judge the intelligence of anyone else. Just saying.Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
A sibling can apply for an Irish passport. Any sibling of an Irish person meaning a sibling born outside of Ireland bonehead. One really does have toNelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning its arms during 2000 talks
Eiriamach!! The IRA were fighting state terrorism and had massive support in the 70's and 80's and I am disappointed you take the side of unionism and