A reader forwarded a recent interview by the Capitol newspaper’s David Freedlander of Nassau County GOP Chairman Joe Mondello that is certain to raise some eyebrows for those keeping close watch on the Democratic AG primary.

At the very end of the piece, Freedlander asked Mondello, the former state GOP chairman, for his “take” on one of the five Democrats vying to replace AG Andrew Cuomo, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice. The chairman responded that Rice has been an “excellent district attorney,” adding:

“I’m not supposed to say these things, but an excellent DA. As an attorney for 41 years, I can tell you, give me someone who’s got some ideas before you trash the ideas.”

“Maybe I got a little Democrat in me too from the time I lived in the city, but I’m not looking to trash ideas before that have a chance to be screened and see what’s going on. The few times I’ve been with Kathleen Rice, she’s impressed me very favorably. In my opinion, she’ll win the seat.”

This is probably not going to win Mondello points within his own party (not that the ever-colorful chairman worries about that sort of thing), particularly as Staten Island DA Dan Donovan is poised to announce his AG campaign this weekend.

It also certainly does Rice no favors as she presses her case with Democrats in advance of the party’s convention in Rye later this month – particularly since her opponents are only all too happy to note that the DA used to be a Republican.

(She switched her enrollment to blank when she went to work as a federal prosecutor in Pennsylvania, and then became a Democrat in 2005 – right before her first campaign in Nassau County).

Rice has said she’s a Democrat in her “heart,” and argued the only reason she enrolled in the GOP when she was 18 was because Long Island was dominated by Republicans at the time and that’s what was expected of her.

Her GOP past hasn’t seemed to hurt her much to date with Democratic organizations. Just last night she won the support of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, adding that to her previous endorsements of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

(For the record, because I know you’re going to ask: The person who forwarded this was actually 1) a Republican, and 2) not affiliated with any AG campaign).