BY RASHED MIAN AND CHRISTOPHER TWAROWSKI, LONG ISLAND PRESS
Former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi defeated state Senator Jack Martins in the most closely watched Congressional race in Queens on Long Island Tuesday night, winning the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Steve Israel.
Suozzi, a two-term county exec and ex-Glen Cove city mayor, ran on a platform championing the middle class, gun control, job creation and clean energy, painting himself an environmentalist and ethics reformer who challenged the status quo in Albany with his so-called “Fix Albany” initiative. He will represent New York’s Third Congressional District, which spans northeastern Queens, the North Shore of Nassau County and northwestern Suffolk.
Suozzi defeated Martins 48 to 44 percent, according to unofficial election results tallied by the New York State Board of Elections. The other four incumbent members of Congress that represent Long Island all won re-election.
Martins, a three-term state senator, former Mineola village mayor and self-professed fiscal conservative, ran on a platform centered around repealing Obamacare, but he also pledged to fight for issues important to Long Islanders, such as protecting the region’s precious waterways.
Israel had held his seat since 2001 and announced his decision to retire earlier this year in order to pursue a career as a novelist and author.
Suozzi launched an ill-fated 2006 gubernatorial Democratic candidacy against then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and lost re-election bids against currently embattled Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano in a 2009 nail-biter and again in 2013.