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Long Island Rep. Suozzi considering gubernatorial run

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Office of Congressman Tom Suozzi
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Congressman Tom Suozzi

Suozzi would enter a crowded field that includes Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Tish James. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams are also considering a run. All except Hochul are closer to the left of their party than the center.

Suozzi is a moderate Democrat from Nassau County, where Republicans took the county executive and district attorney’s seats on Tuesday. Suozzi, who backed Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown in his winning mayoral write-in campaign against Democratic socialist candidate India Walton, says Democrats need to steer away from left-leaning ideology if the party wants to be successful in 2022.

“We have to be willing to stand up to the far-left because that message that they are doing from the Democratic socialist wing of the Democrat Party is destroying the party,” Suozzi said. “It’s not what the American people want. It’s bad for America. And it’s not a winning message.”

The congressman says the state’s GOP effectively “weaponized” key issues like the recent bail reform laws and that helped propel them to victory. He says he thinks the bail reforms need to be scaled back to give more discretion to criminal court judges.

Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive who ran unsuccessfully against former Governor Eliot Spitzer, says he would “love” to be governor, and believes he could win in a general election. But he says he’s going to take until the end of November to think about whether he could be viable in the June Democratic primary, which will include a higher percentage of progressive-leaning voters.