The country expects a wave of Republican support in November that could transform Congress and the Senate amid the economic situation faced by the country and the low popularity of Biden. In this context, the governor of New York - a traditionally Democratic state that is mired in discontent due to crime cost of living - will also be elected.
Amid the start of early voting for the New York primary elections, LPO spoke with Congressman Tom Suozzi, who is running for office in tandem with Latina Diana Reyna.
The primaries, which will take place on June 28, will decide whether the current governor Kathy Hochul will take hold of the position she obtained after the departure of Andrew Cuomo, or whether New Yorkers prefer a different candidate profile with a more progressive, leftist agenda with Jumaane Williams, or a centrist option with Tom Suozzi.
Suozzi is seen as a version of Eric Adams for Albany for being openly opposed to the names that dominate the media landscape within the Democratic Party, such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or Bernie Sanders. The formula presented by Mayor Eric Adams, who embraces his past as a police officer and promises to crack down on crime, is similar to that of candidate Suozzi, a current congressman from New York's third district.
Why did you make the decision to run for Governor?
All my life, I have always wanted to follow the example of my grandparents and my parents. They were immigrants, they lived through the Depression. My father fought in World War II. I grew up seeing a photo of my father with John F. Kennedy. My parents campaigned in the '60s. I thought: what am I going to do? I have not fought a war, nor lived through the Depression, but I have always tried to help others. I did it while I was mayor, as a county executive. Everything I've done in my life has prepared me for this moment. New York is going through a delicate phase, and the Democratic Party is also in a critical situation. Our Country faces issues and I have the ability to redirect it.
What issues does the Democratic Party currently face?
The Democratic Party has gone too far to the left, while the Republican Party has gone too far to the right. We have to talk about what really worries people. Right now, the people of New York are concerned about crime. Then there are the taxes and cost of living. We also have some of the most problematic schools in America, in addition to being one of the most corrupt states. We lost the last three governors to scandals. The previous attorney general, or the last lieutenant governor, Brian Benjamin, appointed by Hochul, was arrested for corruption.
The issues you mention are clearly visible, but what are you going to do to solve them, such as in the case of escalating crimes, for example?
I have a 16-point crime prevention and intervention plan. In the short term, we need judges to be able to evaluate the level of danger posed by the people they judge. Every other state or the federal government has that discretion rule, and New York is the only state that doesn't. We need our judges to be able to apply it. We have to help mentally challenged people on the streets and give them the support they need.
We need to get guns off the streets, and Mayor Adams is already implementing such measures. We also need to implement the red alarm law. We need to work long-term as well, to help children in troubled schools. In prisons, 75% of those incarcerated have addiction or mental health issues, while 50% have learning deficits. We must fight the causes that lead to crime: poverty, domestic violence and other dysfunctions.
He added that Mayor Adams, with whom he has several things in common, distances himself from the progressive wing
I have many of the same goals as those leanings to the left of the Democratic Party, but the answer is not socialism or defunding the police. There is no need to spend more money as our taxes are out of control. I want to contribute; I have been a Democrat all my life. But my party doesn't talk to people about what really worries them. Citizens are concerned about crime and the economy.
There is also the issue with access to housing
Kathy Hochul receives money from the real estate industry. We have to do something about affordable housing. Public housing in New York has been badly handled. We have to help people who depend on the public system buy their own houses so that their situation is just transitional. We have to build more affordable homes but limit the profit of the builders. Many politicians say they are going to do this or that, and I can report what I have done, especially in my experience with the Latin community, for example.
Is that why you chose a Latina to be your lieutenant governor?
I was mayor of Glen Cove for 8 years. One of the first things I did as mayor was to create the first workers' center in 1994. I was criticized, but I worked to create this center to help workers get jobs and learn English. Now these recipients have their homes and American success stories. As an executive of Nassau County, I kicked out ICE and didn't let the police work with them because it scared people away and encouraged underground gangs. I was elected Person of the Year by the New York Immigration Coalition for my work helping undocumented immigrants.
In addition, I incorporated Latinos to positions of command in my administration, such as health commissioner. I helped elect the first Latino legislator in the history if Nassau County. And we will make history again by helping to elect Diana Reyna as the first Latina senior official at a state level. Reyna was a member of the Brooklyn City Council for 12 years, a Deputy Borough President for Brooklyn with Eric Adams. She is an excellent public servant, who is very talented and married to an NYPD lieutenant.
It is a difficult time for the economy, and experts predict that the Republican Party will sweep the mid-term elections.
Republicans can't beat me. If Democrats are concerned about keeping a Democratic governor in New York State, they should not elect Kathy Hochul, as she has a very low approval rate of 40%. They can lose the general election but they can't beat me. The challenge I will face will be to win the primaries, but not the election. Republicans can't beat me on Long Island or Westchester. On matters of crime and taxes they are unrivaled by me. If I win the primaries on June 28, I will win the election easily.
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