Despite a groundswell of support for a Tom Suozzi run for County Executive, Suozzi is remaining mum on whether he can be swayed to challenge Ed Mangano in the upcoming election.
A website and Facebook page were created to advocate changing his mind. LetsConvinceTomSuozzi.com has been around less than two weeks and has been visited by 16,135 people as of Friday morning. The Facebook page has 182 friends and more than 800 likes.
A video on the website has ominous music over images of Mangano as charges of his administration's failures are listed. The music turns to a triumphant Superman-esque track laid over brighter photos of Suozzi as text urges support for his candidacy.
Patch reached Suozzi at his law office in Uniondale but he declined to comment on his political future. That isn't stopping supporters from hoping that he'll return to public service.
"We believe that he's somebody that really cares about the County and is the right person for the job," said Lauren Summa, president of the Nassau County Young Democrats and the creator of the pages.
Summa said her organization believes the County has hit an "all-time low" under Mangano's leadership.
"There's been a lot of mismanagement. Taxes have risen, the bond rating plummeted, the Islanders left," she said.
The situation is similar to when Suozzi took over as County Executive in 2002 after years of Republican leadership, Summa said.
"He brought in real professionals to fix wasteful contracts, he reduced borrowing and balanced budgets. Under him the bond rating was upgraded 11 times when the County had been near bankruptcy. Under the current leadership all that work that he had done is gone," Summa said.
Mangano eeked past Suozzi by 386 votes in the 2009 election, ending the former Glen Cove mayor's two-term tenure as head of Nassau government.
She said her camp is aware that Suozzi, 50, is doing well in the private sector working as an attorney, but maintained that the County is in dire need of his leadership. She said young people are opting to move away, although many would like to stay and raise their families where they grew up. She believes Suozzi has the know-how to make that viable.
"He can do this because he's done it," said Summa.
Anne Famigliette chairs the Glen Cove Democratic Committee. She said she's been contacted by dozens of people over the past two weeks who want to what they can do to get Suozzi to run.
Famigliette said her two decades of political involvement have shown her that such enthusiastic support can have an influence in making a candidate of a someone on the fence.
While Famigliette said she hasn't approached Suozzi yet, she said she knows he enjoys making a difference and has an innate ability for it.
"He has a knack for being able to put people in a room and get the job done," she said. "He had a vision for the Hub before anyone else did, but that was stopped by the Republicans in Hempstead. If that had gone through the Islanders would still be here."