Thomas Suozzi’s four Democratic primary foes closed ranks Thursday and endorsed the former Nassau county executive for Congress, saying he will best represent voters on crucial issues such as gun control, abortion and climate change.
“The voters have reached their verdict and we accept it,” said former North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, who served as master of ceremonies for the event held in a town park across the street from North Hempstead Town Hall.
“He has tremendous ability, works extremely hard and together we will make sure he wins this race,” Kaiman said.
“I ran to stand up for a woman’s right to choose, to protect the environment and fight the grip the NRA has on Congress,” said Suffolk Legis. Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills), who with Kaiman virtually tied for second place in the primary Tuesday in the 3rd Congressional District.
“It’s important to win and keep the seat Democratic in November,” Stern said.
North Hempstead Town Board member Anna Kaplan and Jonathan Clarke, an attorney from Jericho, also vowed to work with Suozzi to help him win office in November.
Suozzi praised all his former opponents, saying that there was little difference between them on the issues and that no one engaged in personal attacks.
“I don’t have a bad word to say about any of them,” said Suozzi.
E. O’Brien Murray, spokesman for state Sen. Jack Martins, the Republican candidate for the seat, said the low turnout in the Democratic primary indicated that voters have little interest in any of the Democratic contenders.
“With less than a 10 percent turnout, its appears voters were not enthusiastic about any of their choices,” Murray said.
Suozzi said the “public is angry and frustrated” with government inaction on crucial issues. He said he will hold town hall meetings to bring together “people of good will” on opposing sides of “hot button” issues such as gun violence.
“Everyone acknowledges there is a problem with gun violence,” said Suozzi, “But I want to bring people together to see if we can begin to solve the problem.”
Clarke, who backed a Bernie Sanders-type agenda in the campaign, said: “Tom is one of my heroes and one reason why I wanted to run for office. A progressive is someone willing to take on big issues with big ideas. I fully support him.”