Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi is attempting to reclaim his old job.
Suozzi, who served as Nassau County Executive from 2002-2010, announced in a statement Wednesday morning on his new website that he will once again run for Nassau’s top post. Suozzi ran for a third term in 2009 but lost a close election to current Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. The former mayor of Glen Cove also ran for New York Governor in 2006 but lost a Democratic primary to Eliot Spitzer.
In his statement, Suozzi, 50, says that if elected he would restore "fiscal stability" to the county, end "irresponsible borrowing and skyrocketing debt," create jobs and reduce crime. He officially announced his candidacy at a noon press conference Wednesday with Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs in Mineola.
Along with the statement posted on his website, Suozzi released a video entitled “Ideal” that discusses his plan to once again return Nassau County to the “ideal suburb.” In the video he says, “This isn't about politics. This is about what kind of community we want to be."
Suozzi will face off in a Democratic primary this September for the right to face Mangano this November.
Adam Haber, a Roslyn school board member, has also announced a county executive run as a Democrat. North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman has established a campaign committee to explore a run for Nassau County executive. Nassau County Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, has previously stated he would run for county executive if Suozzi did not.
Mary Stanco, president of the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce, grew up with Suozzi in Glen Cove.
"People are excited," she said of the reaction in Suozzi's hometown. "People want things to change. The biggest thing everybody is worried about is taxes. They're too high."
She cited sky-high commercial property taxes as one of the main causes of Glen Cove's abundance of empty storefronts, saying the City and County need a County Executive who can come up with a plan to address the issue. She also spoke of a need for better emergency preparedness.
"When we have these storms, we need policies and procedures," Stanco said.
Legis. Wayne Wink, D-Roslyn, whose district includes Glenwood Landing, deemed the contenders eyeing the race “an embarrassment of riches."
“According to recent media reports, the Democratic Party has, at last count, three individuals considering a run for Nassau County Executive,” Wink said. “I know each of them extremely well, and I am excited at the prospect that any one of them can, and one will, unseat Ed Mangano this November.”
He added, “I believe that in the weeks to come, the party and the candidates will coalesce around one outstanding choice and the party can unify to take back Nassau County from the Republican machine, for the benefit of the residents and taxpayers of the county.”
Suozzi's political career started in Glen Cove. He was elected the city's youngest mayor in 1993, and left that post after four terms when he won the County Executive seat in 2001. His cousin, Ralph, currently serves as Glen Cove's mayor.
Carl Potak of the Nassau County Young Democrats, the group behind a website pushing for a Suozzi candidacy, issued the following statement: "We are very excited Tom Suozzi has decided to enter the race. There is more involved in the process as other names emerge. We are fortunate to see other candidates who have great potential coming forward."