U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi said he will run for the Democratic nomination for New York governor, joining the field seeking to challenge incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul

Suozzi, who has represented Long Island and parts of Queens since 2017, is leading a drive in Congress by a group of lawmakers from New York and other high-tax states to raise the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions, known as SALT, as part of legislation to enact President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

Suozzi portrayed himself as “a common sense Democrat” in announcing his bid. He said his agenda includes lowering property and income taxes in New York and addressing rising crime.

“I have a proven record of executive experience,” Suozzi said at a news conference Monday. “I’ve got the background and proven ability to do this job.”

Suozzi, 59, a former Nassau County executive who turned down a job offer from New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams, joins an increasingly competitive 2022 Democratic primary. Besides Hochul, who took office in August after Andrew Cuomo resigned, Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams have all announced runs. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also expected to announce a run.

The primary is scheduled for next June. A recent poll of likely Democratic voters by the progressive group Data for Progress found that Hochul leads the field of candidates with 36% support, followed by James with 22% in a potential primary match-up. Suozzi drew 6% support in the poll conducted Nov. 16-17. Cuomo, who stepped down after sexual harassment allegations, isn’t legally barred from running again and drew 15%.

Suozzi previously sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006, but was defeated by Eliot Spitzer. He becomes the 18th incumbent House Democrat to announce plans to leave Congress, either to retire or to run for other public offices. He joins fellow Democrat Charlie Crist of Florida in running for governor of their states.

New York Representative Lee Zeldin also has said he won’t seek re-election to the House in order to run for the Republican nomination for governor.

Suozzi’s suburban House seat likely will become a top target for New York Republicans as their party seeks to wrest control of the House from Democrats in the 2022 midterm election.

Suozzi won re-election in 2020 with nearly 56% of the vote in the district that includes parts of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties. Still, Suozzi said Monday, “It’s always a concern, because it’s a swing seat.” He added that it remains unclear how state lawmakers will change the district’s make-up under redistricting.

First « 1 2 » Next