By Kristin Wilson, CNN
New York Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi on Monday announced his bid to become New York’s next governor.
“We’re really at a crossroads right now. We don’t need cheerleading, we need leadership,” he said during his Zoom announcement.
In an accompanying campaign launch video he played during Monday’s call, Suozzi said “the far left and the far right have gone too far. I’m interested in getting things done.”
“I’ll work with anybody to actually solve problems and get things done for the people that I serve,” he said. “It’s not about being politically correct, it’s about doing the correct thing.”
Suozzi said his argument against Hochul is that “I’m the only one with proven executive experience.” Prior to his time in Congress, he served as county executive of Nassau County, New York, and was mayor of Glen Cove, New York.
He declined to address questions that Hochul — as the incumbent governor — also has executive experience. Hochul took office in August, after former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid multiple scandals, including a report from James’ office that found Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women.
Suozzi’s announcement to run for governor is the latest in a string of more than dozen House Democrats who have decided to either retire or run for higher office ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, where Democrats hold a thin majority. House Republicans are bullish that they can retake the majority next year.
Suozzi, who was first elected to Congress in 2016, said he will make sure his seat goes to “another common sense Democrat.”
“It’s always a concern, because it’s a swing seat, so you have to listen to all the people,” he said, adding that he has spoken with both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney about his decision, but that the potential of Democrats losing the majority “wasn’t a big factor” in his decision.
“I came into Congress in the minority. I got things done in the minority,” he said, suggesting that “we may not, we may” be in the minority.
“It doesn’t matter. I’m running for governor because I believe this is the job I am made for.”
Suozzi had been offered a job in New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ administration, but tweeted over the weekend that he was considering other options.
When asked Monday if Suozzi would keep his options open to run for his House seat should his path to the governor’s office not pan out, he said he “can only run for one, and I’m running for governor.”
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