Tom Suozzi, once a rising star of the New York State Democratic Party, will launch a campaign for Nassau County executive, the Long Island newspaper Newsday reported Wednesday, just four years after being unseated from that post by Republican Ed Mangano.
The Newsday report:
Suozzi contended in his statement that his administration reduced crime, produced eight balanced budgets and shrank the size of the county workforce without layoffs.
But Suozzi also conceded mistakes, particularly during his 2009 campaign. "Voters wanted change, and they weren't convinced that I was paying attention," Suozzi said. "I took my 2009 campaign for granted. It was my fault and it will never happen again."
Suozzi served two terms as county executive and was only the second Democrat to lead the once GOP-dominated county just east of New York City. In 2006, he ran for the Democratic nomination for governor, but he failed to earn 20 percent of the vote against then-state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Even after that lopsided defeat, his political star shined bright: A WashingtonPost.com columnist listed him as the favorite in 2008 to be named to replace then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who had just been designated as President-elect Obama's secretary of state.
Suozzi is a relatively late entrant to this year's race, and he may not face a clear path to his party's nomination, to say nothing of a general election. But if he gets his old job back, the 50-year-old Suozzi could also reclaim his position as one of the most prominent Democratic bench players in the Empire State, perhaps leading to another shot at Albany eventually.