New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed Nassau County executive hopeful Tom Suozzi and other Long Island Democrats at a rally Saturday in Albertson that drew local officials from both counties and charged the party’s supporters.
With just one week left before Election Day, the governor urged the crowd of at least a hundred to stand behind Island Democrats, to burst to cheers and applause.
Suozzi, standing alongside Cuomo at a podium within a Veterans of Foreign Wars post, pumped his fist in the air and pointed and winked at supporters as Democrats one-by-one took thanked the governor and appealed to voters.
“I am proud to be a New York Democrat and I’m proud to support New York Democrats,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo led the charge but didn’t criticize Suozzi’s Republican opponent Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, with whom he’s worked closely with since Superstorm Sandy, nor did he reference Suozzi’s previous eight years as Nassau’s top-elected official. He instead highlighted what he said were the party’s achievements since he took office.
“The New York Democratic party has charted a different course for this state,” Cuomo yelled to the crowd, many holding “Cuomo stands with Suozzi” signs. “We said that you can grow the economy and you can grow the spirit of community. We said that we believe we can make this state work economically, and we can make this state the capital of social progress in this nation again and we did.”
Suozzi touted recent endorsements from former President Bill Clinton, The New York Times, and Newsday. Suozzi, however, did not mention being hired by Newsday’s parent company, Cablevision, after Mangano unseated him in 2009. Cablevision has donated more than $200,000 to Suozzi’s campaign, and $11,000 to Mangano.
“It means so much to me personally that he’s here today to not only endorse me but to endorse all the democrats that are here,” Suozzi said of Cuomo. “This man is one of the greatest leaders in the country today.”
Suozzi characterized the Nov. 5 election as crucial to the future of Nassau County, emphasizing the need to invest in young people and to build bustling downtowns around train stations to keep younger generations in the county.
The former two-term Nassau County Executive also went on the offensive, responding to criticism from Mangano for raising taxes while in office.
“You know what? It’s true,” Suozzi said, adding that it was “part of a plan to bailout this county” after his first ascension to the position in 2002.
Mangano this week secured the endorsement of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Nassau County Fire Marshals Benevolent Association and Court Officers Benevolent Association of Nassau County.