Sheinkopf Speaks: Hochul needs Suozzi’s support and views

Hank Sheinkopf, Gov. Hochul, Tom Suozzi
Hank Sheinkopf

They might be doing it by e-mail these days or signal or use other apps or even cellular phones. The questions as you get close to the end of any campaign, especially for top offices like governor or mayor are the same: where is so and so your candidate for this and that going to be on election night, ask the influential or the electeds or both.

They want to know where to be, where to call where to usually say congrats or to glad hand and say look at my friend the mayor or governor or any other office that matters to them.

Few want to be in the company of any losing candidate on election night. The loyalty and friendships losing candidates thought they had or earned or deserved usually end when the votes are counted. 

In this year’s democratic gubernatorial primary, only a bit more than a week away, it is quite likely that incumbent Kathy Hochul win claim victory and advance to the November general election. Beating incumbent officer holders is always beyond difficult. Beating an incumbent governor in a primary nearly impossible.

In this one the Democratic Party as we know it is on trial. What is it? Who is it? And why is it?

The biggest loser and the best answer to some of the questions is New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. His ideological pose falls flat. Even his left wing progressive friends will wonder why his anti-police rhetoric suddenly disappeared during this year’s governor campaign. No longer did Williams refer to the mostly women of color work force that comprises New York City School Safety Agents as criminals, even sexual deviants who should all be thrown out of their jobs. Williams the idealogue became just another cynical politician, toned down to win.  His beliefs—if they were ever real—were murdered by his own ambition.

Jumaane Williams comes out of this governor campaign as the biggest loser. 

Then there is Congressman Tom Suozzi. He is the representative of the center, speaking strongly to the issue of the day, one that Democrats rarely have felt comfortable to address: crime. Suozzi’s television ads were more direct, better produced, better written. He was the clarion of unfiltered direct action with no room for massaging the gatekeepers of the left. His was a brave uncynical performance. He spoke to a center of a party soon to see nationally at all levels what effect fear of a gun can bring to a voting machine.

Hochul has used the power she has, rewarded those she needed, elided over controversy, proving that discipline and a good government staff conquers all.

We will miss Thomas Suozzi, a lawyer and accountant. We will miss his honesty and we will miss his conviction. The place he comes from, the suburbs will likely this Fall  tell Democrats a message they will refuse to believe. They will vote Republican to save themselves they think from the gunmen who cross county borders.

The center of her party is the Hochul November challenge. She needs to make sure she knows where Tom Suozzi is the night of the Primary. And she needs to make that call. For her own good.