U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) announced he will be running for governor in 2022 on Monday.
Suozzi, a self-identified “common sense Democrat, ” said he wants to reduce crime and property taxes throughout the state along with protecting the environment and combating climate change.
Suozzi, 59, touted his previous governmental experiences in a video announcing his candidacy for governor on Monday.
“Everything I’ve done in my career has prepared me for this particular job at this particular time,” Suozzi said.
Suozzi noted the increase of crime throughout New York and said enforcing gun laws and empowering judges to keep “violent criminals off the streets” will be some of his top public safety priorities.
The congressman also lauded his ability to work with other elected officials regardless of political affiliation.
”I believe that the answer to New York’s problems will not be solved by moving radically to the left or to the right,” Suozzi said. “We need to move forward. I will work with anyone to solve problems on behalf of the people I serve, as I always have.”
Before being elected to Congress in 2013, Suozzi was Nassau County executive from 2002 to 2009. He also served as Glen Cove’s mayor for four terms, beginning in 1994. In 2006, Suozzi lost the Democratic nomination for governor to former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
The $3 million in funds for Suozzi’s congressional campaign can be used toward his campaign for governor.
Suozzi, who also has a background as a CPA and attorney, said his county executive tenure and experience balancing budgets for Nassau makes him an ideal candidate for those with concerns surrounding the state’s financial state.
“I turned around and managed a county that had a budget larger than 11 states and was on the brink of bankruptcy,” he said.
In the House, Suozzi is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, the chief-tax writing committee and the vice-chair of the Problems Solvers Caucus. Suozzi has also been an advocate of increasing the cap on state and local taxes, known also as the SALT cap.
Two weeks ago, House Democrats passed the Build Back Better act, a $1.75 trillion spending package, including easing limits on SALT, which was capped at $10,000 under legislation signed by former President Donald Trump.
Suozzi was previously approached by New York City Mayor-elect and fellow Democrat Eric Adams to serve as his deputy mayor. Suozzi, who endorsed and campaigned for Adams during his Democratic primary run, said on Saturday that he will still “do everything I can to help my friend Mayor-elect @ericadamsfornyc & the people of NYC succeed.”
The list of Democratic candidates for governor includes current Gov. Kathy Hochul, who stepped in after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped down from the post in August, Attorney General Letitia James, and others.
“The Governor of New York is one of the biggest jobs in the nation, wielding a $200 billion budget and massive responsibility to improve the lives of over 19 million residents,” Suozzi said. “I have the track record, common sense approach and bold new vision to get it done. I can do it, because I have done it.”
With Suozzi now eyeing the governor’s seat, his current role as the congressman for the state’s third congressional district, which includes most of the North Shore, is up for grabs. One of the candidates who was already in the running to challenge him is Melanie D’Arrigo, who previously lost to Suozzi in the 2020 Democratic primary.
D’Arrigo, a Port Washington resident and community and health care advocate, said she is ready to advocate the needs of working people throughout the district on the state and federal level.
“My opponent just announced that he is no longer running for this seat, and that means this race has just become one of our best chances to elect another progressive to Congress who will center the needs of working people,” D’Arrigo said in a statement. “We are ready to fight for universal healthcare, bold action on climate, voting rights and real relief for our communities— and we will win.”