Tom Suozzi is back.
That was the rallying cry issued by Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs on the steps of the Nassau County Supreme Court
building Wednesday, signaling the party's backing of the former county
executive in his bid to reclaim the seat he lost to Ed Mangano in 2009.
Jacobs said for months he had encouraged Suozzi, who served as county
executive from 2002-2010, to seek the rematch already dubbed the
"Thrilla in Mineola" by the Democratic leader.
"... I felt the need was so great to have someone who could take on Ed Mangano and win," Jacobs said.
Jacobs said that voters in 2009 may have had the impression that
Suozzi "took them for granted." However, according to the chairman,
Suozzi has learned from his 2009 defeat and will not make the same
"[Suozzi] did his job governmentally, he dropped the ball
politically, and I think he's learned from that," Jacobs said. "It's a
humbling experience to be defeated. ... But we're paying for that and I
think, unfortunately, the county of Nassau is paying for it, too."
Suozzi, 50, is not the first Democrat to announce his candidacy for
the county executive seat. Roslyn School Board member Adam Haber announced in January that he was "all in" against Mangano.
Jacobs' backing comes the same week when rumors began to swirl about
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman's potential run at the county
executive position. While Kaiman has not officially declared his
candidacy, Jacobs said he will "work to unite" the Democratic Party.
"I will be talking to [Haber] in the next couple of weeks," Jacobs
said. "... If there's a primary to be had, then there's a primary that
will be waged, and we will do everything that we can to win that