Democrats on Capitol Hill and across the country are already facing an uphill battle ahead of next year’s midterm races.
This week, the party and its most prominent leaders saw their chances of retaining power after 2022 grow even slimmer when incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) announced that he would not seek another term in Congress.
According to reports, he intends to instead compete in the state’s gubernatorial election.
During a virtual press conference on Monday, the centrist described himself as a “common-sense Democrat” who was more interested in finding solutions than engaging in partisan fights originating from the fringe of both parties.
Suozzi’s announcement is likely to further confound House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as it represents just one of 18 House Democrats to announce this election cycle that they do not intend to run for re-election.
Roughly a dozen GOP lawmakers have made similar announcements.
With Democrats holding onto power by the slimmest of margins, individual races could prove especially important in determining the balance of power in the upcoming congressional session.
“Proven experience of getting things done”
For his part, Suozzi is bowing out of the race to represent a district that covers much of Long Island. He even acknowledged that his successor in that seat might be a Republican, though he asserted a desire to fight for a like-minded Democrat to win the race.
Suozzi is said to have been considering this announcement for several months and has made frequent public stops during that time featuring a common theme of moderation and problem-solving.
“My message is going to resonate all around the state,” the congressman said. “I want to reduce taxes, I want to fight crime, I want to get homeless people off the streets, I want to continue to fight for the environment, I want to help the kids in our failing schools, and I have the plans to do those things and the proven experience of getting things done.”
His official entry into the gubernatorial race will pit him against current Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, the former lieutenant governor who ascended in the wake of a disgraceful exit by former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
While stopping short of issuing an endorsement, the New York Post asserted that Suozzi should bring some balance to the race as a moderate alternative to far-left Democratic contenders.