Robert Zimmerman of Zimmerman/Edelson Inc., a public relations firm based in Great Neck, said he won’t challenge U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and will shift his sights to gaining Democratic control of the Oval Office.
“Although I would be proud to be a candidate for Congress and even more honored to serve,” Zimmerman said in a statement, “I recognize that the most important change we can make is electing a Democrat as president in 2020.”
Despite citing deep concern that Suozzi’s support of aspects of President Donald Trump’s agenda is “detrimental to the betterment of our nation and our congressional district,” he said a congressional Democratic primary would distract from “our need to unite and focus on winning the White House.”
Suozzi represents New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which stretches along the northern coast of Long Island, including Nassau County and parts of eastern Queens and Suffolk counties.
Zimmerman described “the president’s assault on our values” as “the greatest threat our nation has faced since the Civil War.”
Zimmerman’s announcement comes in the wake of his presence at a town hall meeting hosted by Suozzi in Huntington, where the PR executive and Democratic national committeeman raised concerns over the congressman’s vote for the Senate’s border aid package.
Zimmerman criticized the congressman for “undercutting” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s border bill, which included additional guidelines on the spending of funds and defined basic standards of care for detainees that the Senate bill did not.
Suozzi could not be reached for comment.
The congressman is affiliated with the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans whose members tweeted demands for a House vote on the Senate bill instead of the House’s amended version.
In his statement, Zimmerman said that even though he will not be a congressional candidate, he will continue to advocate and be a strong voice for progressive causes, and work to elect Democrats on Long Island and across the nation.
“There is great passion among Democrats for change and for strong leadership that meets this pivotal moment in history,” said Zimmerman.