District 3, parts of Long Island and Queens
With Representative Steve Israel, a well-liked Long Island Democrat, quitting Congress after 15 years, a small crowd of Democrats has stepped up to replace him. Of these, Thomas Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive, is the best prepared to take on State Senator Jack Martins, a Republican, in November. Mr. Suozzi was an early leader of the reform-Albany movement who bravely challenged Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006 and who, as county executive, made great strides in repairing Nassau’s government, crippled by decades of Republican misrule. He was a national leader in the effort to reinvent the economies of aging suburbs like his. Though he lost to Mr. Spitzer and then twice to his Republican successor for county executive, Mr. Suozzi has a solid record to run on for a comeback in this district, which stretches beyond Nassau into Suffolk County and eastern Queens.
Anna Kaplan, a member of the town council in North Hempstead, has a compelling life story: She fled revolutionary Iran in 1979 at 13, and built a life as a lawyer and local Nassau politician. Jon Kaiman, a former town supervisor in Nassau County, deserves credit for inventively tackling local problems with limited money. Steve Stern, a Suffolk County legislator and lawyer, has Mr. Israel’s endorsement, but does not otherwise stand out among his competitors. Of the candidates, Mr. Suozzi, with his broader experience and political talent, is the one who can bring big ideas and a pragmatic governing style to Washington.