Joshua Sauberman, a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District of New York, announced last week that he would no longer be running as a Democrat.
“In an effort to further his commitment to working- and middle-class families, he has elected to run as an independent candidate,” a statement from Sauberman’s campaign read.
Before the switch, Sauberman was the only Democrat to challenge Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), the former Nassau County executive who is seeking a second term in Congress. Suozzi is also opposed by a Republican candidate, Dan DeBono.
Sauberman, of Syosset, said in the statement that the decision to leave the Democratic Party also stemmed from “restrictive party mandates.” In an email, Sauberman wrote that the party’s refusal to back candidates who support single-payer healthcare for all pushed him to leave.
“DNC elders, such as Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, continue to stubbornly insist that the Democratic Party must compromise on its core principles in order to legislate,” he wrote.
He also said that local Democrats prevented him from meeting with party clubs to discuss his campaign and that requests for voter record were met with “shrugs and denials” by the Nassau County Board of Elections.
“I was not afforded the opportunity to participate on a level playing field with my opponent,” he wrote.
Sauberman, 35, is a graduate of Fordham University who previously worked for the United Nations. He previously told Blank Slate Media that his battle with cancer, and his struggle to pay for the medical costs, led him to run for office. He has repeatedly criticized Suozzi as not doing enough to provide health care for residents.
“Big Pharma is bankrolling Tom Suozzi to not take a vote on a bill that’s in the best interest of residents in his district,” Sauberman said in February, criticizing Suozzi’s refusal to support the Medicare for All Act.