Centrist Rep. Tom Suozzi Latest Dem Who'd Like To Be New York Governor Instead Of Kathy Hochul

Centrist Rep. Tom Suozzi Latest Dem Who'd Like To Be New York Governor Instead Of Kathy Hochul

Democrat Kathy Hochul became the first woman governor of New York after she replaced scumbag Andrew Cuomo in August. She plans to run for a full term in 2022, but already has challengers from within the party. There’s New York Attorney General Letitia James, who declared her candidacy earlier this month. Here’s her campaign launch video.

JAMES: I’ve spent my career guided by a simple principle. Stand up to the powerful on behalf of the vulnerable, to be a force for change.

James is a public defender, and as attorney general she’s not hesitated to go after drug companies and the NRA. She’s also making Donald Trump and his scuzzy family very uncomfortable.

JAMES: I’ve sued the Trump administration 76 times — but who’s counting?

I like James, and if she wins, she’d be the first Black woman governor in the country ... ever.

According to a new poll released Sunday, 40 percent of Democratic primary voters currently support Hochul. James is a distant second with 17 percent. Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has filed paperwork to set up a run for governor, and so far just seven percent of New Yorkers are interested. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams enjoys the same meager level of support and he wasn’t mayor of a major US city.

Thirty percent of New York Democrats are undecided, so nothing’s certain right now. Today, yet another candidate entered the race, and boy is he annoying. Democratic Rep. Thomas Suozzi from Long Island announced his candidacy with a stale assortment of platitudes.

“I’m a common sense Democrat. I don’t believe it’s about going to the far left or the far right, it’s about trying to find the answers to the problems we face,” Suozzi told reporters in a Zoom call. “When it comes to my experience and my ideology, there are clear differences with the other folks.”

Suozzi apparently thinks the “clear difference” between him and the other Democrats running is “common sense.” The New York Times describes him as a “vocal centrist,” which is a decent way of describing someone who won’t shut up about how middle-of-the-road he is.

“It’s not about being politically correct,” said Mr. Suozzi, who outlined an agenda that includes lower property and income taxes, robust efforts to fight crime and reduce homelessness and a focus on combating the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the economy. “It’s about doing the correct thing to actually help people.”

But ... if you’re a politician who does the correct thing, isn’t that being politically correct? I’m surprised he didn’t get the “woke” memo. Proudly declaring that you’re not "politically correct” is very 2015.

Hochul is a Democrat seemingly in full possession of common sense, so when asked what “sets him apart from” her, Suozzi said without irony, “I’m the only one with proven executive experience.” Hochul doesn’t have theoretical experience as New York’s chief executive. She’s literally governor right now.

James is the state’s chief legal officer, which seems like executive-level experience. She’s not interning or anything. James also won a statewide race, which Suozzi hasn’t. He lost the 2006 Democratic primary for governor to Eliot Spitzer, who ended up resigning in disgrace.

“I ran for governor once before. Didn’t work out very well for me. Didn’t work out for Eliot Spitzer, either,” Suozzi joked to The Hill in an interview last month.

That remark seems more petty than self-deprecating. Besides, Democrats can probably safely choose either Hochul or James without worrying that either woman is secretly involved in a prostitution ring.

President Joe Biden handily won Suozzi’s district, but his retirement is probably welcome news for Republicans who want to flip the seat next year. Jake Sherman at Punchbowl News reports that now 18 House Democrats have announced their retirements leading up to midterms.

I think the “common sense” move for Suozzi would’ve been staying put and fighting to hold this seat.

[New York Times / The Hill]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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