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Queens Chronicle

Tom Suozzi wins Democratic primary

Former Nassau County Executive to fight Republican for Israel seat

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Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016 10:30 am

Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi has won the Democratic primary race for the 3rd Congressional District seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Suffolk, Nassau, Queens).

He will face GOP designee state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Nassau) or former corporate fraud investigator Philip Pidot — although there was no primary between them, the matter is unresolved because Pidot is waging a legal battle for a primary— in the general election for the seat.

The election for the primary race took place on Tuesday night. Suozzi won with 35 percent.

The ex-county executive defeated former Town of North Hempstead supervisor Jon Kaiman, former Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, Jericho attorney Jonathan Clarke and Suffolk County lawmaker Steve Stern in the primary race.

In Queens, Suozzi received the endorsements of Borough President Melinda Katz, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) and former City Comptroller John Liu.

In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Suozzi thanked residents of the World’s Borough for their support of him.

“I’m very grateful to the people of Queens and the supporters that I received,” he said. “If I’m fortunate enough, I’m gonna open a Queens office.”

One possible location for the office, he added, would be on Northern Boulevard, which, as Route 25A, runs through each county of the district.

“I toured the district early on and learned about the issues on the North Shore related to airplane noise and helicopter noise, co-ops and condos,” said Suozzi, who held two town hall events in Queens during his primary campaign.

“I think the key to my success in Queens is that I spent a lot of time in Queens,” he said. “I demonstrated that first by spending time there; second, by getting support from elected officials.”

Since his victory, his Democratic rivals have voiced their support to him, he said, as have Queens politicians such as Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens), Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) and Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows).

Democrats in NY-3 had to take Tom Suozzi out of the dustbin of politics in an embarrassing attempt to hold onto a seat they see slipping through their fingers.

Not long after the election finished, New York State Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox issued a statement saying, “Now that the general election season has begun, we look forward to Jack Martins giving Tom his fourth straight loss.”

“My response is that’s why people are sick of politicians,” Suozzi said of Cox’s remarks. “Let’s talk about the issues. Let’s talk about who has better ways to make people’s lives better.”

Who the Democratic candidate will face is not exactly clear. On Wednesday, a federal judge allowed a motion by Pidot to require the state Board of Elections to set a date for a Republican primary election for the seat. The board has not certified a Republican candidate for the election.

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