Today the Washington Post rated Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi as the odds-on favorite to succeed Hillary Clinton in the United States Senate when she becomes secretary of State. You may remember Suozzi as the guy who ran a quixotic Democratic primary campaign against Eliot Spitzer to be governor of New York. It was a cheery but nearly laughable effort, which Suozzi undertook because of his deep outrage at how poorly Albany has been run for the past few decades. Having launched a grassroots movement called Fix Albany, he labeled Spitzer, Assembly Majority Leader Sheldon Silver, and overspending as his foes.
If you don’t remember much about Suozzi, you should read Stephen Rodrick’s New York profile from 2006. Suozzi, by his own reckoning, has made a whole bunch of enemies in Albany — but that might just be his ticket to the Senate office. Now that he’s more of a known quantity, Governor Paterson may want to take advantage of his talent and endless energy by sending him to Washington — and at the same time eliminating a thorny problem for the state Democratic machine. The only problem is, Suozzi may not accept. His focus has always been to reform the Empire State, and he told Rodrick in 2006 that the gubernatorial primary would be his “last campaign.” When Paterson nominates someone to be the state’s junior senator, he’s going to want someone who is eager for plenty more campaigns.