Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) has officially kicked off his campaign for the Feb. 13 special election to replace George Santos in New York’s third congressional district.
At a press conference held in Levittown, Suozzi touted his record as a moderate Democrat, reaching across party lines throughout his political career.
“The American Dream is a very simple idea,” Suozzi said. “It’s not complicated, it’s not some mythical thing. The American Dream is ‘I’ll work hard.’ And I don’t care whether you’re a liberal, you’re a conservative, whatever you are. Everybody believes it should be true. Too many people in my district, here on Long Island and too many people in northeast Queens are concerned that the American dream is not real for them. They’re willing to work hard, and they’re still concerned they can’t make it.”
“I’m a Democrat, I’ll always be a Democrat, and I have never abandoned my values,” Suozzi said. “But I’ll work with anybody. I’ll work with anybody who wants to work together to actually solve the problems that people face.”
Suozzi held this seat from 2017 to 2022. Prior to that, he was Nassau County Executive from 2002 to 2009 and mayor of Glen Cove from 1994 to 2001.
In 2022, he declined to run for re-election to his congressional seat, instead challenging Gov. Kathy Hochul in the gubernatorial primary. He placed third in that primary.
Suozzi told reporters there were no hard feelings between himself and Hochul, saying that their relationship was “very good.” He was unsure if Hochul would campaign for him, though.
“She’s got a whole, big state to worry about,” Suozzi said.
With the seat open, George Santos defeated Democrat Robert Zimmerman in the 2022 election. That December, the New York Times exposed much of Santos’s claimed background as fiction. After Santos faced two failed expulsion votes, 23 federal fraud charges, and a scathing report from the House Ethics Committee, he was expelled on Dec. 1.
Shortly thereafter, the special election to replace him was set for Feb. 13, and Suozzi was announced as the Democratic nominee on Thursday. It was a move many saw coming, as Suozzi was already running to challenge Santos in the 2024 election for the seat if Santos wasn’t ousted.
Should Suozzi win, he said he still intends to run in the November race for the seat.
The Republicans are expected to announce their candidate for the special election next week.