The country has been ablaze with discussion about the presidential election, and with Trump refusing to concede, it doesn’t look like that will end anytime soon. But everyone seems to be forgetting that there are other elections going on, ones that are a bit more local to us—ones like the congressional race in New York’s third district on Long Island.
Incumbent Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi is struggling to hold on to his seat against Republican George Santos. Santos believes that Suozzi took an overly self-confident approach to this race and failed to acknowledge Santos as a legitimate competitor. “He not only overlooked me, he looked down at me and refused to debate me. Our messaging was that I am of the people, and I am waiting for the people and I think the congressman was a little bit too out of touch with reality and tone deaf,” Santos said at a press briefing in Huntington.
Suozzi also made a statement, saying that “based on the percentage of Democrats and percentage of Republicans and the history of doing this type of stuff, that I am going to win by over 20,000.” This race has left many Long Islanders in suspense, with the current results putting Santos in the lead with 50% and Suozzi at a very close second with 49%.
Suozzi has been in politics for a long time now—from 1994 to 2001, he was the mayor of his hometown of Glen Cove, New York, and from 2002 to 2009 he was the Nassau County Executive. He is a member of the primary tax-writing committee of the House of Representatives, serving on the Oversight and Tax Policy subcommittees. In addition, he is the Vice-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus as well as Co-Chair of the bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus.
On the other hand, Santos is from Jackson Heights, Queens, and is a first-generation American whose parents emigrated to the United States from Brazil. He has made his career in finance, working at Citigroup after graduating college. Not long after he accepted a position at the Turkish-based tech hospitality firm Metglobal. After other positions at other firms, Santos became the Regional Director of Harbor City Capital. He is also passionate about philanthropy, founding and running a nonprofit called Friends of Pets United from 2013 to 2018.
It’s still not exactly clear who will win the race, but it’s just as important to follow local politics as it is national politics.