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Suozzi Concedes Defeat in Nassau Executive Race

December 1, 2009

Looks like the Republicans have made a gain in Nassau.

Here’s the latest:

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Thomas R. Suozzi conceded defeat on Tuesday in the race for the Nassau County executive, a harsh setback for Mr. Suozzi, the Democratic incumbent who was widely regarded as a potential candidate for higher office.

He acknowledged his loss after a recount of the votes cast last month showed that his Republican challenger, Edward P. Mangano, a county legislator, had a 390-vote lead. Mr. Suozzi, speaking to reporters at a news conference, said he believed it was “mathematically impossible to win. I didn’t think it was fair to the public, my team or Mr. Mangano, and I didn’t think it was realistic.”

Mr. Mangano was unfamiliar to many voters before he entered the race, and his victory represents a stinging rebuke of Mr. Suozzi, who at the start of the campaign was considered a fairly safe bet to win a third term.

Mr. Suozzi himself seemed surprise by the results. “Nobody saw this coming, and if anyone told you they could predict this outcome they’re lying,” he said.

He attributed his loss to voters’ anger over consistently high property taxes, an issue that resonated in other races in the region where incumbents lost. “People are angry about property taxes, and they held the county executive accountable,” Mr. Suozzi said.

Mr. Suozzi’s surprising victory in 2001 against the Republican Party machine elevated his profile and helped make him an up-and-coming leader of the state’s Democratic Party. But his aspirations to higher office have not panned out.

Mr. Suozzi suffered a stinging defeat against Eliot Spitzer in the Democratic primary for governor in 2006 and was one of the candidates interviewed byGov. David A. Paterson for the Senate seat that was ultimately filled byKirsten E. Gillibrand.

On Tuesday, Mr. Suozzi said that he was not going to be involved in public life in the immediate future but that he hoped to be back in politics someday. He did not say what his plans were after he left office.

Mr. Mangano said he never doubted his chances of winning. “My expectation from the beginning was to run a great grass roots campaign, and I understood there was a disconnect between the county government and the people,” he said.

He said his first priority would be to reform the county’s property tax assessment system.

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2 Comments
  1. Cicero permalink
    December 1, 2009 6:24 pm

    Thomas (“Tom”) R. Suozzi got a bit complacent these past few years.
    As a Democrat he has been centrist and moderate on many political and social issues.

    It is clear the taxes and finances of Nassau County was what cost him re-election this time around.

    Politically a defeat like this is not good for future elected office. However, Tom Suozzi is an intelligent, experienced manager. He may be back later on in some capacity in local or state politics. Don’t count him out.

    Pay attention to another Long Island Democrat, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. She recently was re-elected. I think she could be a formidable candidate some day when running against a Republican.

    http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/DA/index.html

    http://www.kathleenrice.com/

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/932.html

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