Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, a potential candidate for governor of New York in 2022, has amassed a campaign war chest he could bring to the primary campaign.
On Thursday, Suozzi was praised at a fundraiser by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "remarkable, operational member of Congress."
"He gets the job done," Pelosi said at the event. "He has his agenda, he makes it very clear; he's a master of the message."
That message has primarily been a push by Suozzi over the last several months to repeal the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions as part of a major domestic spending and social safety net package that remains under a contentious debate in Congress.
Pelosi was headlining the fundraiser in Washington for Suozzi where tickets ranged from $500 to $5,0000, according to an invitation. The event was held amid an extraordinarily busy time for Congress as well, with the fate of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda up in the air, a rift within the party over a $1 trillion infrastructure package and an effort to simlpy keep the federal government's bills paid.
The fundraising picture for Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls could make for a competitive -- and expensive -- primary season in New York.
Suozzi's cash on hand as of July 1 stood at $2.3 million. That's more than the $1.7 million then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul reported at the time. Attorney General Letitia James, another potential candidate, had $1.6 million in cash. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone reported $1 million.
All these campaign accounts have likely swelled in the weeks since Andrew Cuomo, the state's governor for a decade and a prodigious fundraiser in his own right, resigned on Aug. 24 following allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
At the moment, only New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has started to take formal steps to challenge Hochul in the June primary. He reported just over $62,000 in cash this summer.
Suozzi last ran for governor in 2006, losing a Democratic primary to Eliot Spitzer. He has said in recent weeks he would "love to be governor" but has insisted he's focused on removing the cap on state and local tax deductions at the moment.
The $10,000 limit was part of the 2017 tax plan approved by Congress and then-President Donald Trump. The measure is seen as most impactful for high-tax states like New York. Suozzi has pointed to a bloc of Democratic votes he's assembled in the House who would not back a deal on the social safety net package without the repeal of the cap.