Larchmont Business executive and Army officer Mark Rosen has dropped out in the race against Rep. Nita Lowey after learning he’ll be deployed for overseas combat early next year.
“Obviously that impacts my ability to serve as a Congress person if I were honored and lucky enough to do that,” he said today. “It was an impossible choice and I have to serve in the Army. I love the Army and it’s the right thing to do.”
Lowey, 72, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1988 and is one of the House’s most powerful Democrats. She serves the 18th Congressional district, which covers most of Westchester County and parts of Rockland County.
Rosen, 48, is a Larchmont resident and a senior vice president at Adecco, one of the world’s largest job recruiting firms. The married father of five has spent more than 15 years in the Army and is serving as a lieutenant colonel and an executive officer.
As several polls suggest a growing anti-incumbent mood in the country, Lowey’s re-election bid this year was widely seen as being tougher for her than past election cycles where she often won by whopping margins. Rosen had hired some of the same strategists Rob Astorino used last year to upset Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano, another longtime incumbent.
The remaining candidates publicly declaring they’ll run against Lowey are Paul Wasserman, a Briarcliff Manor venture capitalist seeking office for the first time, and Jim Russell, a Hawthorne computer consultant that is running for the district seat for his fifth time.
Despite being out of the race, Rosen said Lowey is “still very very beatable.” He added he plans on stumping for whichever candidate the GOP backs.
“Presuming we get the right candidate, I will get behind the GOP and conservative candidate and help them win in November 100 percent,” he said. “I don’t know who that candidate will be, but I will certainly support the GOP and conservative candidate.”
Rosen learned about his deployment this past week. The date, location and length of his deployment are still being worked out, but he’ll probably be heading to Iraq or Afghanistan for a combat tour ranging from 6-12 months, he said.
Rosen said he faces mandatory retirement from the armed services in two years, adding he won’t rule out future bids for public office.
“I got engaged in politics only recently but I’m in this for the long haul,” he said. “I’m going to help whomever in November but to me this isn’t about November. This about our long term policies in governance for our children. That goes way beyond 2010.”