Metro

Every Dem should be worried after Tuesday shellacking

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Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi said “every Democrat” should be concerned about holding onto their elective seats next year after the drubbing the party’s candidates took during Tuesday’s Republican wave election.

Suozzi issued the warning Thursday during a remote press briefing when he said he will decide by month’s end whether he will run for governor

“Everybody should be concerned. Every Democrat in the country should be concerned right now,” Suozzi said, when asked if his own congressional seat was imperiled after Republicans swept races for district attorney and county executive on his Long Island turf.

“Unless we fight back against this far-left message, unless we deliver for people and do things that affect their lives in a real way, everybody should be worried about it [their political survival].”

Suozzi, a moderate, said both Democrats and Republicans suffer at the polls when they allow extremists or extremism to control their party’s agenda.

“When Democrats are in power and they focus on extremism, they are going to lose. That’s the way of the world,” he said.

He lumped both Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Donald Trump into the category of “extremist voices.”

Suozzi, 59, knows all about the ups and down of cyclical politics.

Suozzi said Democrats need to stay away from "extremist voices" such as Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Suozzi said Democrats need to stay away from “extremist voices” such as Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

He was elected Nassau County executive in 2005 but lost re-election in a 2009 Republican tsunami during then-President Barack Obama’s first year in office. Suozzi ran for governor in 2006, losing to Eliot Spitzer in the Democratic primary.

Republicans won races for district attorney in Nassau and Suffolk counties by hammering Democrats for approving a controversial state law that eliminated cash bail for many misdemeanor and non-violent felony crimes.

“I definitely would change it [the bail reform law],” Suozzi said.

Suozzi agreed with eliminating cash bail for defendants charged with very low-level crimes and are detained because they can’t afford to put up $50 or $100 to get released pending trial.

But he said his fellow Democrats in the state Legislature went too far and Republicans successfully “weaponized” the bail issue against Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s elections.

Suozzi claimed he "stood up to the left" by endorsing Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown instead of Democratic Socialist candidate India Walton.
Suozzi claimed he “stood up to the left” by endorsing Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown instead of Democratic Socialist candidate India Walton.
AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

“You can’t take authority from judges. We should encourage judges to do their jobs,” said Suozzi, whose congressional district includes Nassau County and portions of Queens.

Suozzi noted that he was only the prominent Democrat in New York State who “stood up to the left” by endorsing Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s successful write-in, reelection campaign against India Walton, the democratic socialist and Democratic Party nominee who upset him in the primary.

He said other elected Democrats “played footsies” by endorsing Walton or stood on the sidelines.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General Letitia James remained neutral in the Buffalo race. Both are running for governor next year.

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand backed Walton.

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