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Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi announces run for New York governor

Suozzi joins a crowded Democratic primary field that includes Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Letitia James.
Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., speaks at the Capitol on Oct. 26, 2021.
Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., speaks at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 26.Michael Brochstein / Sipa USA via AP

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi announced Monday that he is running for governor of New York, joining a crowded Democratic primary field that includes Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Letitia James.

Suozzi's entrance means he won't run again for the congressional seat he first won in 2016, making him the 18th Democrat who won't be running for re-election next year.

Suozzi, a moderate, described himself as a "commonsense Democrat who gets things done" and said he is running for governor because he has "a bold new vision for what the state needs."

"This whole left-right thing extremist thing is killing our country and killing our state," Suozzi said.

He said he would focus on crime, Covid-19, the economy, homelessness and education while keeping property and income taxes down.

"It's not about being politically correct. It's about doing the correct thing," Suozzi said in a virtual news conference. He touted his work with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus on the infrastructure bill and stressed his work on restoring state and local tax deductions in the Build Back Better bill.

Asked whether he was worried that his departure would give Republicans a chance to capture his congressional seat, which is mainly on Long Island, Suozzi said, "It's always a concern, because it's a swing seat."

"I'm going to do everything I can to make sure my congressional seat goes to another commonsense Democrat," he said.

The Democrats control the House by eight seats, 221 to 213, going into the midterms next year. Besides Suozzi, 17 other Democrats have announced that they're not running for re-election, compared to a dozen Republicans.

Besides Hochul and James, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams announced that he is running in the Democratic primary for governor, as well, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also appears poised to throw his hat in the ring.

Suozzi, the former mayor of Glen Cove, Long Island, and Nassau County executive, turned down an offer from New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams to be his deputy mayor over the weekend.

"I will do everything I can to help my friend Mayor-elect @ericadamsfornyc & the people of NYC succeed. After discussing it with my family, I believe the best way for me to help him and NYC is in elected office," Suozzi tweeted Saturday. "I will announce my plans for the future in the coming days."