Suozzi Claims Hillary Clinton Tried to Talk Him Out of NY Governor’s Race

February 18, 2022 by Dan McCue
<strong>Suozzi Claims Hillary Clinton Tried to Talk Him Out of NY Governor’s Race</strong>
Rep. Tom Suozzi. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

NEW YORK — He may be languishing in the polls, but Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., is stirring up headlines at this week’s New York State Democratic Committee’s Nominating Convention.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting Thursday at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in Manhattan, the Democrat from Glen Cove, Long Island, said Hillary Clinton tried to pressure him out of challenging incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Later he allowed that Clinton, the convention’s keynote speaker Thursday afternoon, wasn’t the only one, and that New York Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, also asked him to step aside.

“I spoke with our keynote speaker, Hillary Clinton, a few months ago. She tried to persuade me not to run,” Suozzi said at a breakfast meeting.


Suozzi then told reporters that Clinton said to him, “We’ve got to unify as a party. You’re doing a great job in Congress.”

As for the others who’d rather he not run, Suozzi said, “Jay has sent me a lot of emails trying to persuade me not to run for this seat.”

But Suozzi said he would not bow to the pressure.

“I said: I really feel this is very important,” he said.

“The state’s in a lot of trouble because people are leaving,” he continued. “We have a problem with crime. We have a problem with taxes. We have a problem with the Democratic Party — that we’re not talking to people about the issues that they really care about.”

Suozzi also announced this week that he’s selected former City Councilwoman Diana Reyna — a longtime ally of Mayor Eric Adams — as his running mate.

In addition, he said, his campaign planned to launch a $1 million advertising campaign Thursday night that will target Hochul’s record on crime and taxes, and her past support from the National Rifle Association.

At the moment, however, one can understand if this isn’t quite getting to Hochul. A Siena College poll released earlier this month found she has 36% support in a June primary while 18% backed Attorney General Letitia James, who has dropped out of the race.


Ten percent of participants in the poll said they support New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and only 6% said they are for Suozzi. That level of support tied him with former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has yet to enter the contest.

Clinton didn’t comment on Suozzi during her remarks, nor did she directly address ongoing speculation that she may mount another bid for the White House in 2024.

Instead, she sought to solidify support for New York’s first female Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

“Isn’t it about time the state that gave birth to the women’s suffrage movement that has been at the forefront of progress and reform, isn’t it about time we elect a woman as our governor?” Clinton said.

Clinton then introduced Hochul, who began to try to speak over a raucous demonstration by other candidates’ supporters, including some chanting, “Suozzi, Suozzi.”

In the end, despite the outburst, Hochul formally received and accepted the state Democratic committee’s nomination for the 2022 governor’s race.

“I thank you all — the heart and soul of the Democratic party for giving me the opportunity to serve as the very first female nominee for governor,” Hochul said. “I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. I accept your nomination and I do so with a heart full of gratitude and humility, and I will never ever take for granted the trust you’ve placed in me and my leadership.”

“I’m proud to acknowledge dissent in our party,” she said in response to those doing the chanting. “I’m also proud to receive 85% of the vote in this room.”

Following his impromptu comments to reporters, Suozzi reportedly engaged in a heated conversation with former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who raised her voice while saying she didn’t understand why he’s challenging Hochul.

Quinn later told the New York Post that Suozzi had earlier approached her “very aggressively” and “rather obnoxiously” to complain about remarks she made on NY1, a local cable news station, where she said he doesn’t stand a chance of beating Hochul in the June 28 Democratic primary.

“I think there’s no way for a conservative man to be running against the first woman governor of New York state,” she said.


“It makes no sense — and [it’s] giving up a [congressional] seat which we could lose to Republicans,” Quinn said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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