Thomas R. Suozzi has long been a big thinker and an advocate for bipartisan solutions to problems, and his first term in Congress has shown him once again to be out in front on key Long Island issues.
Suozzi, 56, admits he’s been “humbled by the job” and talks about how difficult it’s been in the toxic environment to get important bills voted on while a member of the Democratic minority. Even so, the Glen Cove resident has tried to reach across the aisle. He has brought attention and money to remediate the Bethpage plume, clean the Long Island Sound and improve the Northport VA Medical Center, and brought a mobile medical clinic to North Hempstead. Unlike many members of Congress, he is one of the most visible and accessible elected officials, holding 24 town halls during his two-year term in a district that stretches from Whitestone east to Kings Park, and south to Hicksville, Bethpage, Plainview and Commack.
Suozzi’s portfolio includes foreign policy. He sees America’s role as a “stabilizing force.” He is particularly focused on Afghanistan, where he notes the need for a more specific civilian strategy.
Suozzi wants to use his platform to realize exciting goals for Long Island: a research corridor with a dual focus in life sciences and aerospace. Suozzi’s big idea: to have the region that built the Apollo program’s lunar module now build rockets for commercial launch. “Why not here?” asks Suozzi, who hopes to lure a California company to the Island. It’s that imagination and doggedness that have marked his career.
Republican Dan DeBono, 49, is a former Navy SEAL and investment banker who has a reasoned view on encouraging business competition and anti-trust enforcement. On other issues, like immigration and gun control, the Northport resident is out of touch with this moderate district. What’s more worrisome: DeBono was linked to political dirty trickster Roger Stone. DeBono said he never paid Stone, but the link, combined with DeBono’s at-times name-calling Twitter feed, is troubling enough.
Newsday endorses Suozzi. — The editorial board