Thiele Will Not Seek Congressional Seat

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. will not run for New York's First Congressional District. Morgan McGivern

State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination to run for election to New York's First Congressional District, a move he had considered for several months.

In an email to The Star on Wednesday, Mr. Thiele said Democratic Party leaders and community activists had approached him about the seat held by Lee Zeldin, a Republican serving a second term.

"I gave careful consideration to leaving my seat in the State Assembly to run for Congress. It is humbling that so many would think I would be a good congressman," Mr. Thiele said.

"From a political perspective, it has been my belief from the outset that the key to providing new progressive leadership for the First Congressional District was early consensus around a single candidate to oppose the incumbent. Such a consensus does not exist at this time."

Mr. Thiele, who is chairman of the Assembly's Small Business Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee, said he believed he could accomplish more for eastern Long Island as a senior member and leader in Albany than as a freshman congressman. He also has assignments on the Education, Environmental Conservation, and Transportation Committees.

"There is much unfinished business with water quality issues, improved public transit for the South Fork, the renaissance of the Southampton campus, and advocacy for the commercial fishing industry, among the many issues that will continue to be my priorities."

"I look forward to working as a running mate with whomever is the Democratic nominee to oppose the incumbent," he added.