NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- With less than a week until the special election to replace disgraced and expelled Congressman George Santos, Democrat Tom Suozzi has been campaigning as if this were his first run for office.
"You know there's a clear contrast in this race, the people of the district know me. They don't know her," Suozzi said.
Suozzi, a former Glen Cove mayor, Nassau County executive and three-term congressman, comes from a legacy of lawmakers. Both his father and uncle were mayors of his hometown of Glen Cove.
"As you know, I ran for governor in New York State in the democratic primary because I wanted to address the issues of crime, of taxes, of corruption that has existed in New York State for decades, I lost that race but I spoke up for the things that I know people care about," Suozzi said.
Issues like public safety, he says.
"Anybody can say I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. I've always been pro-law enforcement," Suozzi said. "I reduced the crime rates to the lowest it's been in the history of Nassau County when I was Nassau County executive. I ran for governor of New York trying to reform the bail laws in New York State, actually got some progress in that because of the work that I did."
Suozzi has run fiery ads aimed at his opponent Mazi Pilip, an Ethiopian Jew from Great Neck.
She's a registered Democrat now representing the Nassau Republican Party. Mostly unknown, Pilip has served just two years as a Nassau County legislator.
"Why is this race so close? Shouldn't it be more of a landslide? This is a very tough district for any Democrat these days," Suozzi said.
He's hoping to narrow an already razor thin GOP majority.
Pilip's campaign fired back at Tom Suozzi over his stance on how to handle the U.S. border.
"What is your plan to address the migrant crisis," Pilip said.
"I've always worked to try to find compromise and find common ground," Suozzi said. "Now we have a deal in the United States Senate, a bi-partisan deal that's been negotiated. It doesn't have everything I want. It doesn't have everything that the Republicans want but it's a deal. It's a way to move forward. It's a way to finally address this problem after 35 years and the fact that the Republicans and my opponent are rejecting this out of hand is just absurd."
Suozzi says he stands on his bi-partisan record while on Capitol Hill.
"I was the vice chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus, 25 Democrats, 25 Republicans negotiated deals, worked together every single week to find common ground to get things like the infrastructure deal done or the Chips Act or some of the other things to get us through COVID," he said.
Democrats have outspent the GOP by nearly $4 million on campaign ads.
Suozzi is hoping the ads, along with his final campaigning, will make all the difference.