ALBANY — Rep. Tom Suozzi left the state Democratic convention this month without being named the party designee for governor and without an automatic slot on the June primary ballot against Gov. Kathy Hochul, who won more than 85% of support from delegates.
He remained in third place in a Siena poll last week and has a fourth of Hochul’s campaign funds total. But the Long Island congressman still has a path to win, albeit a narrow one, according to political analysts.
“Of course there’s a path,” said Steven Greenberg of the Siena College Research Institute poll. “But, man oh man, is that path thin. … He’s going to need a lot of help if he’s going to navigate that path,” he said, citing the lack of party backing, fundraising and poll numbers.
Suozzi of Glen Cove is seeking to become the first Long Island native to be elected governor and could be in an all-Long Island general election contest against Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of Shirley, who is the leading GOP candidate.
Suozzi’s plan to win the Democratic nomination depends on convincing voters that he is a better, more experienced executive than Hochul, that he has a record of working with moderates and Republicans, that Hochul is too beholden to progressive Democrats who are out of step with the more left-center bulk of the party, and that Hochul has made mistakes, including her management of COVID-19 and mask mandates.