Thomas Suozzi

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Thomas Suozzi
Thomas Suozzi official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from New York's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Steve Israel
Executive of Nassau County, New York
In office
January 1, 2002 December 31, 2009
Preceded by Thomas Gulotta
Succeeded by Ed Mangano
Mayor of Glen Cove, New York
In office
January 1, 1994 December 31, 2001
Preceded byDonald DeRiggi
Succeeded by Mary Ann Holzkamp
Personal details
Thomas Richard Suozzi

(1962-08-31) August 31, 1962 (age 57)
Glen Cove, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Helene Suozzi
Education Boston College (BA)
Fordham University (JD)
Website House website

Thomas Richard Suozzi [1] ( /ˈswɒzi/ ; born August 31, 1962) is an American politician, attorney, and accountant who is the U.S. Representative for New York's 3rd district. [2] [3]


Suozzi was the County Executive of Nassau County, New York, in office from 2002 to 2009. He was first elected to the post in 2001 after four terms as mayor of Glen Cove, New York. In 2006, he ran unsuccessfully against Eliot Spitzer for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York. Suozzi was narrowly defeated for re-election in 2009 by Republican nominee Ed Mangano, and in a rematch in 2013 was again defeated, this time by a much larger margin of 59% to 41%. [4] He was first elected to United States House of Representatives in 2016 and then reelected in 2018. [5] [6]

Suozzi currently sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Congressional Executive Commission on China. [7] [8] Suozzi formerly sat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. [9]

Early and personal life

The son of former Glen Cove mayor Joseph A. Suozzi, Thomas Suozzi was born on August 31, 1962 in Glen Cove. [10] His father, Joseph, was born in Italy and his mother, Marguerite, is of Irish and English descent. [11] The youngest of five siblings, Tom Suozzi attended Catholic schools, graduating from Chaminade High School, Boston College, and Fordham University School of Law. He is trained as both a lawyer and a CPA. Suozzi and his wife, Helene, have three children.

Political career

Mayor of Glen Cove

In 1993, Suozzi was elected mayor of Glen Cove, New York. He was in that municipality's mayoral office for four terms. [12]

His father and his uncle, Vincent Suozzi, respectively, were mayors of Glen Cove prior to Tom Suozzi. [13]

As mayor, Suozzi focused on environmental cleanup of commercial and industrial sites in Glen Cove. A focal point of his administration was redeveloping brownfield and superfund sites. [12] In 1994, the Glen Cove incinerator was permanently closed and dismantled. [14]

In 1998, the city demolished and redeveloped the defunct Li Tungsten Refinery grounds, a federal superfund site. [15] [16]

He was recognized by then-Vice President Al Gore for the city's environmental cleanup efforts and Glen Cove was awarded the Brownfields Award in 1998. [17] [18]

Nassau County Executive

Suozzi was elected Nassau County Executive in 2001, becoming the first Democrat elected to the position in traditionally Republican Nassau in 30 years. [19] He assumed office in the midst of a fiscal crisis. By 1999, Nassau was on the brink of financial collapse: the county faced a $300 million annual deficit, was billions of dollars in debt, and its credit rating had sunk to one level above junk status. [20] According to The New York Times, he "earned high marks from independent institutions for his signature achievement, the resuscitation of Nassau's finances." [21]

While in office, Suozzi cut spending and reduced borrowing and debt. He also oversaw 11 county bond upgrades over the course of two years, eliminated deficits in Nassau, and accumulated surpluses. In 2005, Governing Magazine named Suozzi one of its Public Officials of the Year, calling him "the man who spearheaded Nassau County, New York's, remarkable turnaround from the brink of fiscal disaster." [12] [21] According to The New York Times, Suozzi garnered praise for social services like his "no wrong door" program, which centralized access to social services. [21]

In 2004, Georgina Morgenstern, a former Nassau County planning department employee, alleged Suozzi and Chief Deputy County Executive Anthony Cancellieri used county employees, resources and functions for illegal fundraising. Morgenstern said she was retaliated against and terminated without due process, and she subsequently filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit. [22] Suozzi was dismissed from the case and a federal jury in Central Islip rejected Morgenstern's claim that she was fired in retaliation for her criticism of Suozzi. [23]

2006 gubernatorial campaign

Suozzi declared that he was running for Governor of New York in the Democratic primary against Eliot Spitzer on February 25, 2006. The bid appeared from the start to be somewhat of a long shot given Spitzer's reputation as a "corporate crusader", though Suozzi often pointed out that he prevailed as a long shot before when he first ran for Nassau County Executive.

Few prominent Democrats outside of Nassau County Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs supported his bid; most of New York's Democratic legislators and mayors campaigned with Spitzer. One of his biggest supporters was Victor Rodriguez, founder of the now disbanded Voter Rights Party. Rodriguez eventually became the lead field organizer for the Albany campaign office. The campaign was funded in part by Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone, former NYSE CEO Richard Grasso, David Mack of the MTA, and many individuals on Wall Street who had been investigated and prosecuted by Eliot Spitzer. [24]

On June 13, 2006, Suozzi spoke before the New York State Conference of Mayors along with Spitzer and John Faso. Suozzi received a standing ovation by the crowd of mayors. [25] On July 6, 2006, Suozzi announced to his followers that he had collected enough petitions to place himself on the ballot in the primary against Spitzer. He claimed victory to the press in the debate on July 25, 2006 with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer held at Pace University.[ citation needed ] He stated he had presidential aspirations during the course of this debate. [26] [27]

On August 7, 2006, Suozzi announced after much speculation that he would not seek an independent line were he to lose the primary to Spitzer. [28]

2009 Nassau County executive election

Suozzi lost the 2009 county executive election to Ed Mangano.

2013 Nassau County executive election

After first working in the private sector as an attorney, Suozzi announced that he would seek a rematch against Mangano in 2013. [29] He attacked Mangano for "presiding over a decline in the county", while also emphasizing that, while he was County Executive, Suozzi had eight years of balanced budgets and reduced crime. [30] In November, Mangano easily defeated Suozzi, 59 percent to 41. [4]

2016 U.S. House campaign

In June 2016, Suozzi won a five-way Democratic primary in New York's 3rd congressional district. [31] Suozzi received endorsements from The New York Times, Newsday, and The Island Now. [32] [33] [34] He narrowly defeated Republican state Senator Jack Martins in the general election on November 8, 2016, and began representing New York's 3rd congressional district in the 115th United States Congress in January 2017. [2]

2018 U.S. House campaign

In June 2018, Suozzi won the unchallenged Democratic primary. In 2018, Suozzi defeated Republican Dan DeBono, future Trump Administration Chief Infrastructure Funding Officer and former trader and investment banker with an 18 point margin. [35] [36]

Tenure in Congress

Suozzi is a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, [37] the United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus [38] and the Climate Solutions Caucus. [39]

Suozzi is Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, which consists of 22 Democrats and 22 Republicans. He is also the Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, and is Chairman of the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s Board of Visitors. [3] [40] [41]

Suozzi's accomplishments in Congress include the passage of his legislation that would help to fully restore the State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction, which was capped at $10,000 in 2017. [42] [43]

Electoral history

Nassau County Executive Race
2009Thomas Suozzi (D)117,87448%
Ed Mangano (R)118,11149%
New York 3rd Congressional District Race
2016Thomas Suozzi (D)156,31552.4%
Jack Martins (R)142,02347.6%

See also

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Political offices
Preceded by
Donald DeRiggi
Mayor of Glen Cove
Succeeded by
Mary Ann Holzkamp
Preceded by
Thomas Gulotta
Executive of Nassau County
Succeeded by
Ed Mangano
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Steve Israel
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 3rd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Darren Soto
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Ron Estes