Analysis: Tom Suozzi offers Democrats a Rorschach test

Publication: Buffalo News
By: Robert J. McCarthy

Congressman Tom Suozzi is seeking the governor’s office for the second time in his long political career, hoping to fare better in 2022 than the drubbing Eliot Spitzer dealt him back in the 2006 primary.

So far, it’s been another uphill climb for the Long Island Democrat. Gov. Kathy Hochul holds all the advantages as she faces Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in the June primary. And while Suozzi attended the Democratic State Convention in Manhattan a few weeks ago, he never entered his name for nomination. Hochul was this crew’s favorite.

And that’s the point Suozzi now makes as he launches his own TV ads railing against rising crime and high taxes. Last week he seemed downright proud of being ignored at a convention he says represented the party “establishment.” Suozzi insists he does not.

“If you want the same old, same old establishment candidate,” he told the Politics Column a few days ago, “you shouldn’t vote for me.”

Suozzi has been around long enough to earn his own establishment credentials – lawyer, mayor of Glen Cove, Nassau County executive, member of Congress. But now he embraces an outsider persona he believes lays out a path ending at the Governor’s Mansion.

“I’ve got a plan; I have a strategy, and I’m working hard,” he said. “And I believe if I execute this plan, I will win this race.”