GOP targets Tom Suozzi for 2018 election

GOP targets Tom Suozzi for 2018 election
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) aided in attaining a 16-month extension for the City of Glen Cove to launch its ferry service to Manhattan. (Photo courtesy of Tom Suozzi)

The National Republican Congressional Committee is hoping to make U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) a one-term congressman.

Suozzi’s 3rd Congressional District on the North Shore is among 36 Democratic House seats the GOP finds vulnerable and plans to go after through the 2018 election, according to a list the NRCC released Wednesday.

Republicans considered the district stretching from northeast Queens to northwest Suffolk County ripe for the taking after former Rep. Steve Israel stepped down last year.

But Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive, beat former GOP state Sen. Jack Martins by about 5.5 percentage points in November’s election.

“We owe the American people assurance that the agenda we were elected on — healthcare reform, a stronger national defense, and more good-paying jobs — is fulfilled,” Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), the NRCC chairman, said in a statement.

Suozzi and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring) of the 18th Congressional District are the only New Yorkers on the list.

The 3rd District has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but some political analysts consider it a toss-up because of its high proportion of unaffiliated voters.

Last year’s race was especially competitive because it was for an open seat that Israel, previously a high-ranking House Democrat had held for 16 years.

Explaining in an email why the NRCC thinks Suozzi is vulnerable, spokesman Chris Pack said, “Suozzi is Suozzi,” pointing to a video of Suozzi saying he raised property taxes and cut Nassau’s workforce during his tenure as county executive from 2002 to 2009.

“I’m confident that voters are not happy with Tom Suozzi’s record,” Pack said in an interview.

Calling him “Taxin’ Tom,” the NRCC criticized Suozzi last year for hiking property taxes nearly 20 percent early in his first term, taking a $65,000 pay raise recommended by a bipartisan commission and imposing a deeply unpopular home-heating tax that contributed to his 2009 loss to current County Executive Edward Mangano.

Martins’ court battle over whether he would face a primary election against a Republican challenger, Philip Pidot, prevented the NRCC from hammering that message as hard and from promoting Martins as the GOP candidate early in his campaign, an NRCC source said.

Suozzi’s tax hikes were efforts to pull Nassau out of a fiscal crisis; the county was on the brink of bankruptcy when he took office. During the campaign, Suozzi touted the 13 bond upgrades Nassau received as proof of his success.

Kim Devlin, a Suozzi political adviser, said the NRCC’s early political salvo is “why nothing ever gets done” in Congress.

“Tom is not worried about some list, he’s too focused on working in a bipartisan way with other members to try and solve the problems facing our country and to serve the residents of his district,” Devlin said in a statement.

Suozzi sent a fundraising pitch Thursday based on the NRCC’s announcement, asking supporters to donate to his re-election campaign to show they “like ‘Suozzi being Suozzi.'”

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here