OpEd: It’s Time For Tom Suozzi — Again

Special Election
It is not currently known if former Rep. Tom Suozzi is going to run in the Feb. 13 special election, but he has received several endorsements.
Photo by Tab Hauser

When George Santos duped voters in the Long Island-based  Third Congressional District to  send a serial liar and cheat to  represent them in Washington, we  soon found out that almost everything he said in the  campaign –his experience, his  business experience, even his  religion – was a lie.  

As it unraveled with astonishing speed in the weeks after his  unexpected election, to their credit  his Republican colleagues in Nassau,  as well as in Congress, called on him  to resign or be expelled from the  House so voters can get a do-over.  

It looks like that do-over will happen,  based on media reports about his  lawyers in negotiation with federal  prosecutors who have indicted him  on multiple fraud and money  laundering charges. The recent guilty included an indication she is prepared  to cooperate in Santos’ prosecution.  

If he resigns or is convicted, it  appears that Democratic leaders are  primed to pick an experienced hand  to return to Congress in a special  election for the district which reaches  into northern Queens – Tom Suozzi.  Suozzi announced his candidacy for  the position on October 10th. 

“Everything will be all right in the  end. So if it is not all right, then it is  not yet the end,” Suozzi, taking a  quote from the movie “The Best  Exotic Marigold Hotel”, wrote in a  New York Times essay as he  bemoaned being replaced by a con  man. 

Santos’ removal from the public  stage, whether by conviction or  resignation, will give us the chance to  make everything all right in the end of  Congress.  

We know Tom Suozzi over the  decades as a mayor of Glen Cove, a  Nassau County Executive who  righted a fiscal ship that was teetering  on disaster, and as a moderate  congressman who worked across the  isle to put his constituents needs as a  priority. When he was in the House of  Representatives previously, he was  the Vice -Chairman on the Democratic side of the Problem Solving Caucus, which is a group of  moderate Democrats and  Republicans who understand the  value to the American people of  comporting themselves civilly and to  compromise in order to enact  legislation for the best interests of the  American people. 

He has been on the front lines fighting  for us, whether securing COVID  funds for schools, hospitals, and local governments, fighting efforts to eliminate the SALT (state and local tax) deduction, increasing funding by  400 percent for Long Island Sound  and Queens harbors, protecting our  drinking water, even combatting  traffic noise in Queens and northern  Nassau.  

There will be no on-the-job training  period for Suozzi when he returns to  Washington. And there will be no  need to introduce himself to the  voters of the Third District. They  know him. As he has said “ he can do  it, because he has done it”.  

Now it is time for Tom Suozzi to  return to work for us. 

Howard Fensterman is the Managing Partner at Abrams Fensterman, LLP.