By: Ilana Siyance
On Monday morning, Representative Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat from Long Island, announced that he will be throwing his hat into the already crowded pool of Democrats running for governor of New York. The 59-year-old Glen Cove native, has represented district 3, including Nassau county and northeastern Queens, since 2016.
As reported by the NY Times, Suozzi is the first Democrat in the race to target moderate suburban voters, who have so far been backing incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul for the Democratic primary set for June 2022.
Suozzi has been an outspoken centrist, and often vocal against his own party’s left wing. “I don’t believe it’s about going to the far left or to the far right,” said Mr. Suozzi, during the announcement at a virtual news conference. He will hope to give Gov. Hochul, currently in the lead, a run for the position, wrestling for moderate voters. “This whole left right thing extremist thing is killing our country and killing our state,” said Suozzi. “I don’t think I could sit on the sidelines and watch what’s happening, watch what’s happening to our state, and not be engaged in an effort to try and bring it forward.”
Suozzi has been working to raise the cap on state and local tax deductions, and his agenda includes lowering property and income taxes, fighting crime, reducing homelessness, improving education and recovering the economy following the coronavirus pandemic. He said he is running for governor because he has “a bold new vision for what state needs”. He described himself as a “common-sense Democrat who gets things done”.
Suozzi had been County Executive of Nassau County from 2002 to 2009, and had previously served as a four-term mayor of Glen Cove. In 2006, he had made an unsuccessful bid for governor against Eliot Spitzer. A graduate of Boston College, and Fordham University School of Law, Suozzi is trained as both a lawyer and an accountant.
Other candidates who are running for governor include NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and NYS attorney general Letitia James, who would make history in becoming the first black female governor in NYS.
Suozzi’s entry in the race means he will not be running for re-election for his own seat in 2022. As reported by NBC News, when asked if he was concerned that he may be leaving his congressional seat open to a Republicans candidate, Suozzi responded, “It’s always a concern because it’s a swing seat.”