Prominent District Attorney Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RicePelosi needs big cushion to return as Speaker Four lawmakers offer bill to permanently ban earmarks America has a broken political system our leaders need to fix MORE jumped into the race for retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthyCarolyn McCarthyWhy Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Lobbying World Lobbying world MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, flanked by McCarthy herself.

Rice received national acclaim for her work securing murder convictions in drunken driving cases and cracking down on cheating on college entrance exams.

In an interview with a local NBC affiliate, Rice characterized herself as running on McCarthy’s legacy.

“My campaign is going to be, to the people of this district, to show them why I am the best person to follow in Carolyn McCarthy’s footsteps,” she said.

And McCarthy said she believes Rice is “the best person for the job,” and personally recruited her to take over her seat.

The ringing endorsement from McCarthy could help dissuade other potential contenders from entering the race.

Malverne Mayor Patricia McDonald and county legislators Kevan Abrahams and David Denenberg are also considered possible Democratic candidates.

Potential Republican contenders include Hempstead town supervisor Kate Murray and county legislator Francis Becker.

Republicans had hoped to make the district competitive with a strong candidate, but Rice’s entry into the race makes it more difficult for them to compete there. Her name recognition and bipartisan appeal would make her a tough candidate to beat, if she wins the Democratic nomination.