Bearing posters reading “Suozzi Gets It Done,” family, friends and supporters of Tom Suozzi’s campaign gathered at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho eagerly awaiting the results of the Third Congressional District race.
Beginning at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, attendees started to fill the catering hall, enjoying food and drinks, and discussing elections on the local, state and national level. Two televisions were positioned in the corner of the room, broadcasting live CNN and News 12 Long Island election coverage.
Suozzi made his grand entrance after it was announced that he received 52 percent of the vote, defeating Republican candidate Jack Martins, former New York state senator and mayor of Mineola, for Steve Israel’s seat in Congress with a four-point lead.
The Congressman-elect, and former Glen Cove mayor and Nassau County executive, took to the stage with his family to thank his devoted supporters, who welcomed him with excited cheers and chants.
“I am so blessed in my life. I’m so fortunate to have such a great family, and I did nothing to earn that, it was just given to me,” said Suozzi, who acknowledged his three children and wife, Helene, applauding with pride.
A key factor in Suozzi’s victory was support among minorities, including the local Indian, Pakistani and Korean communities. He expressed his gratitude for their unyielding assistance and encouragement throughout the campaign trail.
“I want to thank my friends from some of the different ethnic communities that helped me out, and I’m going to have to work very hard to bring these communities together,” he said.
Martins congratulated his opponent. “The results are in and unfortunately we’ve come up short. I congratulate Tom Suozzi on a hard-fought victory and wish him well,” said Martins. “While the outcome was not what we hoped and the race is over, it does not mean we will stop fighting for the ideals on which we ran.”
Martins, who has represented the Seventh District in the New York State Senate since 2010, has declared that this loss does not signify the end of his fight for the betterment of Long Island, New York State or the country as a whole.
“Throughout this campaign, I’ve heard the frustration from people across Nassau, Suffolk and Queens about the direction our country is headed,” said Martins. “The campaign has ended, but this is not the end. I will remain active in the community working to make life better for all our families as I’ve always done.”
The night concluded with a few parting words of optimism by Suozzi after recognizing all who were an integral part of his campaign and road to victory.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, and just join with me in believing in this country and believing that no matter what happens with the result of the presidential election, we can get great things done in this country if we get people of good will,” said Suozzi. “I want to do the right thing, and I need you to help me do the right thing to try to make this country better again.”