OpEd: Suozzi Showed How To Win Elections, And How To Govern

Tom Suozzi. (Photo by Rob Cuni)

With Tom Suozzi returning to Congress, analysts in New York and across the country are looking to find a message for the  upcoming national elections. Is there one  there? 

Let us take a look at what transpired. For one thing. Democrat Suozzi is a known  quantity, a veteran and skilled leader who  has always been willing to work across  party lines to find solutions to seemingly  intractable problems.  

President Biden and Democrats have been  on the defensive against a Republican  attack on the vast influx of migrants who  have crossed our southern border, with more than 100,000 of them winding up in  New York. 

Instead of trying to evade talking about immigration – which his inexperienced  Republican opponent did, Suozzi leaned  into the Issue to highlight the bipartisan  bona fides he exhibited in his previous three  terms in Congress. 

Suozzi sharply criticized Biden’s handling of immigration even as he backed the  bipartisan plan that came out of the United  States Senate, which tightened border  controls and asylum procedures, and included desperately needed support for  allies in Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel.  

House Republican leaders, who had called for just such a solution for immigration, then did an about face and refused to  consider the bill after Trump said he  preferred nothing be done. 

That difference resonated with voters  across the Third District. Suozzi carried the District by eight points, winning over  independents, and far more Republicans than his opponent did Democrats. 

With suburban districts poised again to be the deciding factor in the  November elections, the message for both  parties is to embrace common sense  solutions, and to seek common ground on the most difficult issues to move the  country forward. 

While many Democrats believe that  Suozzi’s victory is a changing moment, the fact is that the moderate Republican party of  Nassau County remains incredibly strong  and vibrant. The reality is that all three county wide offices and town Supervisors  in Nassau County are Republicans. The  continued extreme left wing policies of the New York City Council and the New  York State Legislature will drive more  democratic moderates to vote  Republican. Suozzi’s victory is a credit to  him and the enormous goodwill he established by his accomplishments as a  two term County Executive and three  term Congressman. No one should read more deeply into his victory than that.


Howard Fensterman is the managing partner of the Abrams Fensterman Law firm based in Lake Success.