For Immediate Release
Contact: Mike Florio
Nassau County, NY – January 19, 2016 – Today, former Glen Cove Mayor and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, filed papers with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to explore a Democratic candidacy for New York’s 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Steve Israel, who announced his retirement from Congress earlier this month.
Below are remarks delivered by Tom Suozzi at a media event this morning to announce the filing of his committe Suozzi 2016:
“This morning I filed a committee to run for Congress.
Over the next month or two I’m going to talk to people in the district, raise some money, really think it through with Helene and the kids and try and make the right decision.
The people deserve a successor that will carry on Steve Israel’s fantastic legacy of fighting for veterans and middle class families. He is a true national leader, who never forgot his local responsibilities. He fought for new initiatives on cyber security, funding a cure for Alzheimer’s, green technology and bringing home government help for his district. He is a model public servant.
I’m not new to politics. I spent a good portion of my adult life as a mayor and county executive, and I’m proud of my record. I did a lot of good things and I made some mistakes too. I won races and I lost races. I am sure I learned more from losing than I did from winning, but as the old saying goes “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
I did make mistakes, but I could not have been more right when I started my Fix Albany campaign, 10 years before it was fashionable, and my fight for a property tax cap. I was right to go after waste, fraud and abuse in Nassau County and my fight for a Medicaid cap. I was right to push for “cool downtowns” on Long Island and to clean up pollution and preserve open space - the difference is that after six years in the private sector, a little bit of humbling, and a lot of hindsight, I think I’m a little wiser now, a little less brash and more patient. I understand people’s hopes and fears better than ever before and I think I’m a better listener.
People talk to you differently when you are out of office than when you are in. I know the people of the 3rd Congressional District are sick of politicians and politics. So why am I even considering this?
Well, I am sick of what I see going on in government today too. People going to jail, getting indicted, scandals in the paper everyday, nothing getting done, people refusing to work together – there is simply no trust in government.
I want to help solve problems. Our country and our world are in trouble. People on the north shore of Long Island and Queens are afraid of ISIS and terrorism, they are worried about the economy and deficits; they are worried about the middle class, paying for college and their kids finding a job.
One thing is clear to me, we are all meant to do different things in life and I believe public service is my calling. I enjoy solving problems and I know how to get things done, to work together with people to tackle tough issues, even when it’s not popular. Politics is about finding common ground for the common good. It is about compromise while still maintaining principles. There is a way to bark back at the bureaucracy, a way to shake the branch without breaking it.
People may have a lot to say about Tom Suozzi over the next few months, but no one will say “Hey you know that Tom Suozzi guy, he took the easy way out.” Not me, not now, not ever.
I am a Democrat and I believe we have an obligation to help middle class families, the poor and disadvantaged, seniors and veterans. I believe “income inequality” is real and sinister, but some Democrats are getting it wrong. Income inequality is not because of “unfairness” or a rigged system, or the rich versus the middle class, it’s because the world has changed, because of globalization and dizzying technological advances. Our Congress needs to help address those changes instead of pitting Americans against one another. I am against raising the federal income tax. The people of New York, and the people of the 3rdrd Congressional District are already massive “net donors” to the rest of the country.
As a Democrat, this may not be the most popular position, but I have a long record as a reformer and a leader willing to take tough stands to solve serious problems instead of ignoring them. If I run this campaign I will propose other solutions that will be reform-minded, creative and meaningful.
I am 53 years old. I’ve been involved in government and politics for almost 20 years. I’m a lawyer and a certified public accountant. I’ve worked in finance and business. Two of our three children will be in college this September and we’ve got a lot to do.
About Tom Suozzi
Tom Suozzi, a CPA and attorney, has served as mayor of his hometown, Glen Cove, NY from 1994-2001 and as Nassau County Executive from 2002-2009. Prior to Suozzi taking office, Nassau County was on the brink of bankruptcy and declared the “worst run county in America” by the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Suozzi successfully steered Nassau back from financial collapse and restored it to fiscal stability. In 2005, he was honored as Governing Magazine’s “Public Official of the Year.”
As a reformer and someone eager to take on the tough battles, in 2004 Suozzi created FixAlbany.com in order to expose and root out corruption in New York state politics and get a cap on local Medicaid expenses. In 2007, he was appointed to lead a state commission that proposed the first property tax cap, which has now become law. In 2008, the New York State League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) named him “Environmentalist of the Year.”
Suozzi has worked as a senior advisor to investment banking firm Lazard and is currently of counsel at Harris Beach law firm. Prior to his time in elected office Suozzi worked as a litigator for Shearman & Sterling, law clerk to the Chief Judge of the Eastern District, and an auditor for Arthur Andersen & Co. He resides in Glen Cove with his wife Helene and three children.