The special election for his seat has kicked off a season of intense congressional races in New York as Democrats seek to flip a handful of seats in the state and retake control of the House. Suozzi – who previously held Santos’ seat before leaving Congress to run for governor last year – has a lot going for him: name recognition, close relationships with the Democratic establishment.
Suozzi represented the congressional district – one of the nation’s wealthiest – for three terms from 2016 to 2022. In June 2016, Suozzi won a five-way Democratic primary before going on to defeat Republican state Sen. Jack Martins in the general election. Two years later, he defeated Republican nominee Dan DeBono to win reelection. In June 2020, he won a three-way Democratic primary and then went on to defeat Republican nominee Santos by more than 12 points in the general election. Last year, Suozzi gave up his seat in order to run for governor, which cost him an influential spot on the House Ways and Means Committee.
The special election was triggered by the expulsion of George Santos from Congress due to dishonesty. His opponent, Masi Melesa Philip, is the Nasa County Legislator, but chances of success for the opposition seem slim.
A strong advocate for the Indian community, Suozzi has garnered support from notable figures like State Rep. Jennifer Rajkumar, Sanjeev Jindal, Satnam Prahar, Koshi Thomas, and others who participated in a recent meeting in support of Suozzi.
Suozzi, an attorney and CPA, served as the former Nassau County Executive and Glen Cove Mayor. Over his 30 years of public service, he has championed causes such as environmental protection, gun safety, reproductive freedom, and immigration. His track record also includes advocacy for veterans, affordable health care, and fiscal responsibility.
If Suozzi emerges victorious in the special election, the Republican majority in the House will be reduced to 7 seats. Democratic leaders emphasize Suozzi’s background in securing life in Long Island and Queens in a statement.
Highlighting his extensive experience as an attorney and in executive and political roles, Suozzi pointed to his achievements as mayor, where he improved the city’s healthcare system, revitalized downtown businesses, and spearheaded a $100 million cleanup effort. As Nassau County executive, he reduced crime and led a $150 million environmental program.
While in Congress, Suozzi coined his famous mantra “no SALT, no deal” and brought together a coalition of lawmakers from New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois to demand changes to the SALT cap – which limits the amount of state taxes that taxpayers can deduct from their federal tax bill. He fought to either remove or increase the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions in high-tax states, pledging to oppose any sweeping tax measures that didn’t include changes to the SALT cap.
Suozzi’s commitment to fighting corruption is evident through initiatives like ‘Fix Albany,’ and he played a key role in passing the statewide Medicaid cap. As chairman of the New York State Property Tax Relief Commission, he worked for the people. In Congress, Suozzi fought to restore the SALT tax cut, negotiated a bipartisan infrastructure bill benefiting New York, and provided substantial aid to the state’s hospitals, small businesses, and residents during the Covid-19 pandemic as Vice Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus.
In 2016, Tom Suozzi, then a candidate for election to the US Congress, had announced that if elected, he would join the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. Soon after his election, he kept the promise by joining the influential Caucus.
Suozzi, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee had announced, “As part of the India Caucus and as a Representative and friend of so many Indian Americans, I hope to play a special role in enhancing the relationship between our two countries. India and the United States share a special bond based on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law and belief in the intrinsic value of every human being. It is essential that during these times of globalization and accelerating technology, as well as threats from common enemies, that the United States and India strengthen our bonds of friendship and collaboration.”
On June 3rd, 2016, the Indian American Voters Forum had honored Congressman Suozzi at a special reception held after he enrolled himself in the India Caucus, in Long Island, New York.
As a congressman, Suozzi has closely aligned himself with the Indian American community. In 2021, for instance, he had sent Holi greetings to Indian-Americans, stating that the festival of colors sends renewed opportunity to celebrate peace, friendship and opportunity.
On December 19, he unveiled a 10-point plan to help restore sanity to Washington and get things done. The intention of Suozzi rolling out his plan is to demonstrate his belief that Congress needs to move beyond petty, partisan, and performative finger-pointing and focus on working across the aisle to get things done for the people he serves.
The plan details Suozzi’s blueprint to:
1. Lower the Cost of Living, Repeal the SALT Cap, and Further Reduce Prescription Drug Prices
2. Address the Immigration Crisis by Passing the Tom Suozzi-Peter King Compromise
3. Protect the Long Island Sound, Provide Clean Drinking Water, and Address Climate Change
4. Improve Public Safety and Get Guns off the Streets
5. Stand Up to Extreme Attacks on Reproductive Freedom
6. Support Israel and Ukraine
7. Never Forget the Vet
8. Expand Affordable Health Care and Long-Term Care, and Protect Social Security and Medicare
9. Defend Democracy
10. “No Wrong Door”: Comprehensive, Wraparound Social Services for K-12 Students
Suozzi has a long record of working with Democrats and Republicans to tackle the problems that the people of Nassau and Queens face. Suozzi’s 10-Point Plan is in sharp contrast to his opponent Mazi Pilip’s refusing to answer reporter’s questions about her positions on the issues.
“Throughout my career, I have always prioritized delivering results for the people over petty partisan politics,” said Suozzi.
“The growing influence of the far right and far left has led to gridlock in Congress. My 10-point plan is a blueprint to address the real concerns people face and my intention to work with anyone of goodwill who has the same objective of actually addressing challenging problems and working together to come up with a solution.”