Tom Suozzi.

Suozzi in Tight House Race

Former congressman Tom Suozzi is in a tight race as he attempts to secure a return to the House of Representatives in a special election set for Tuesday, February 13.

Democrat Suozzi is ahead in the polls of his Republican rival  Mazi Melesa Pilip in the battle for the Third House District, which covers a large swathe of Long Island and extends into Queens. But Suozzi's leads have been within the margin of error.

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Suozzi left Congress to mount a failed bid for the governorship of New York but in his time on Capitol Hill he was active on issues of Irish American concern.

He recently held a joint fundraiser in Manhattan with New York State Senator Tim Kennedy, who is seeking a congressional seat in Buffalo after incumbent representative Brian Higgins retired from the House.

In the closing days of the campaign, Suozzi received a boost from the main newspaper on Long Island, Newsday, in the form of an editorial endorsement.

Stated the editorial in part: "Timing is everything in politics. Sometimes, the right moment in history can make or break a candidate, as Thomas R. Suozzi knows only too well. He has enjoyed stunning victories and humbling losses.

"His experiences in the realities of government, and the lessons learned from them, are what Suozzi uniquely offers as the Democratic candidate in the Feb. 13 special election for the Third Congressional District. The winner will serve the remaining 10 months in the term left open by the expulsion of disgraced Republican George Santos in December.

"Instead of getting caught up in the endless partisan rancor fomented by the extremes in both parties, Suozzi repeatedly demonstrated in his three previous terms a collegial ability to reach across the aisle and work within the sharp divides of his party to find consensus. Suozzi’s strength is building relationships to get what is needed for his district. Even with the House currently under GOP control, Suozzi’s understanding of the chamber’s byzantine rules and power structure, along with his relentless focus on results, are essential in this period of polarization.

"Through the ups and downs, Suozzi consistently showed his inclination, particularly while in Congress, to work with both Republicans and Democrats to effect important changes on matters vital to the nation...While in Congress, he worked constructively with then-Rep. Peter King on gun legislation, strengthening the nation’s defense, support for Israel, and a host of other issues. Together, King and Suozzi wrote a March 2019 newspaper opinion piece supporting a sensible bipartisan deal on immigration that would make the border more secure while providing a path to citizenship for many people already living illegally in the United States.

"Suozzi merits a return to Congress. The Third Congressional District can only benefit from his deep experience and institutional knowledge. The winner of this race will likely be sworn into office within days of the election. There is no opportunity to learn on the job."