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Congress candidates face voters in 3rd, 4th and 5th districts

Rep. Tom Suozzi talk about political efforts made

Rep. Tom Suozzi talk about political efforts made toward the Long Island Sound report card during a press conference at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay on Oct. 6. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) heads into Election Day in the 3rd Congressional District with more than $2.2 million in cash on hand — 13 times more than Republican challenger George A.D. Santos.

In the neighboring 4th District, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) has more than 10 times the cash on hand than her Republican opponent, Douglas Tuman, a first-time candidate from West Hempstead.

In the 5th District, which includes a sliver of western Nassau County, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans) has $610,089 on hand, according to his campaign filings. Meeks is unopposed.

The lopsided fundraising in those three Long Island House districts highlights one of the key powers of incumbency: The ability to raise large amounts of money.

Suozzi, 58, an attorney and certified public accountant, is running for a third two-year term in a district that stretches from northern Queens along the North Shore of Long Island into Suffolk County.

Suozzi served previously as mayor of Glen Cove for eight years, and for eight years as Nassau County executive. He is a graduate of Boston College and Fordham University School of Law.

Suozzi, vice chairman of the House "Problem Solvers Caucus," a panel of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans who offer bipartisan solutions to key issues, said voters he's encountering are focused on passage of a pandemic stimulus package. They also back reversal of the "SALT" provision in the 2017 tax law that caps federal deductions for state and local taxes at $10,000.

Suozzi raised $464,789 and spent $188,434.50 in the fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30, according to his federal filings. Suozzi's campaign began the quarter with $1.9 million on hand.

Santos, 32, a Republican and the regional director for Harbor City Capital, an investment fund specializing in digital marketing, is making his first run for an elective office.

Santos, of Whitestone, Queens, is the son of Brazilian immigrants and a graduate of Baruch College. He said if elected, he would focus on "restoring respect for law enforcement and encourage community cooperation to reestablish public safety on the streets."

Santos' campaign raised $190,615 in the third quarter, and has $165,901 on hand, according to his campaign filings.

Howard Rabin, 62, of Plainview, is the Libertarian Party candidate in the race. Rabin, an attorney and business owner, ran unsuccessfully for Oyster Bay Town Council last year. His federal campaign finance reports list no fundraising.

Rice, 55, is seeking a fourth term representing voters from central and southern Nassau County.

Rice was first elected to Congress in 2014 after serving as Nassau County District Attorney from 2006-2014. Rice is a graduate of the Catholic University of America and has a law degree from Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. She chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations and sits on the House Committee of Veterans' Affairs.

Rice said her top priority is securing more COVID-19 relief for Nassau County, including aid for state and local governments facing budget shortfalls due to the pandemic. She says she also will push for expanded unemployment insurance benefits and more aid to small businesses.

In the quarter ended Sept. 30, Rice raised $243,220 and spent $197,429. She has $231,359 in cash on hand, according to her federal filings.

Tuman, 40, a Republican from West Hempstead, is an engineer and patent attorney. He is Hempstead Town's engineering commissioner and worked as a civil engineer for Oyster Bay Town.

Tuman is a graduate of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, and earned a law degree from Hofstra University.

He has set up his campaign headquarters in Hempstead Village where, where he has delivered his election pitch in person to business owners and residents.

Tuman said if elected, he would be a strong advocate for a pandemic relief bill and reversing the SALT cap. He said he also would implement a text message-based system so district residents can comment on issues

In the third quarter, Tuman raised $29,011 and spent $31,893. He has $12,086.26 on hand.

Joseph Naham, 37, of Long Beach, a captain for a Hempstead Town sanitation vessel, is the Green Party candidate in the 4th District race. He had no campaign filing on the Federal Election Commission website.

Meeks is seeking a 12th term in Congress in a district covering southeast Queens, along with Elmont, North Valley Stream and Inwood.

Meeks, 66, serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is vice chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Economics and Security Committee and is a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. Meeks was elected chairman of the Queens Democratic Party in 2019.

Meeks says he is focused primarily on helping small-, minority- and women-owned businesses. Meeks also has supported efforts to modernize Kennedy Airport in Queens, and he helped draft the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act after the 2008 financial crisis.

Correction: Rep. Kathleen Rice is seeking a fourth term in Congress. An earlier version of this story misstated her length of service.

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