VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A former Nassau County legislator has tossed his hat into the ring for a congressional race.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Bruce Blakeman, 58, is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

The Republican was joined by dozens of supporters, including Rep. Peter King, as he announced his candidacy Thursday in Valley Stream.

Blakeman explained why he’s running for office.

“It’s easier for people to get on food stamps and welfare than it is to get a good job and that’s all people want. That’s what I want to concentrate on. I want to work with Peter on solving these problems,” he said. “This administration, the Obama administration, the Democrats in Congress have not paid attention to what’s important to the people. They have not paid attention to the economy. They have not concentrated on creating jobs. They’ve instituted a health care plan that is a failure.”

Blakeman, who is a business consultant, also served on the Hempstead Town Board and the board of the Port Authority.

Current Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is also running for the seat on the Democratic side and has secured McCarthy’s endorsement.

McCarthy, a lifelong resident of Mineola, was first elected to Congress in 1996. The 70-year-old Democrat announced in January she will not seek a 10th term in office this fall.

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