Representative Tom Suozzi of Long Island has declared, on Monday, 29 November 2021, his intention to run for governor of New York, joining other Democratic candidates like Governor Kathy Hochul, NY Attorney General Latitia James and NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
“Congress is great and I’m hoping we’re going to win the majority again,” Suozzi said. “I’m running for governor because I believe this is the job that I am made for. Everything I’ve done has prepared me for this particular job at this particular time.”
“I have to call myself a common sense Democrat. I don’t believe it’s about going to the far left or to the far right,” Suozzi says in his campaign ad released on Monday. “It’s not about being politically correct. It’s about doing the correct thing to actually help people.”
Suozzi previously ran for governor in 2006 when he lost the nomination to then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer by about 60 points. Over the weekend, Suozzi turned down a role in New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ administration, saying that he believed the best way he could help Adams is “in elected office.”
Since he was first elected in 2016, Suozzi has been a more moderate Democrat in Congress, most recently pushing for the reconciliation package to include a provision that repeals the “SALT” deduction cap. The state and local tax deduction cap limits the amount of state and local taxes that taxpayers can deduct from federal taxes to $10,000. Suozzi highlighted this fight in a campaign video released Monday.
Suozzi said he wants to lower New York’s property and income taxes, fix ailing schools and put more police on the streets to fight crime. Suozzi, from suburban Long Island, represents a different part of the state as the other frontrunners, with Hochul coming from Western New York and James and Williams representing New York City.
“Despite New York being so blue, it’s a really diverse population and Buffalo is a much different place, almost a separate country, than New York City,” said Alex Sommer, a Democratic strategist at political consulting firm Tusk Strategies.
Sommer added, “Trying to put together a coalition of such a huge state, such a geographically diverse and racially and ethnically diverse state is a huge challenge,”
The challenge for Suozi and other candidates running for governor will be forming a coalition of diverse voters in such a large state, as Eric Adams managed to do in New York City when running for the City Mayor.
Suozzi is the 18th House Democrat to announce their retirement or a run for another office this cycle. He said the prospect of Democrats moving into the minority in 2022 “wasn’t a big factor.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure my congressional seat goes to another common sense Democrat. That’s the way to win my seat,” Suozzi said.