NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tom Suozzi is hoping to follow in Rep. Steve Israel’s footsteps – literally.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports that the former Nassau County executive is running for the seat being vacated by the Democratic congressman.

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Suozzi told WCBS 880 he is a responsible reformer who gets things done.

“Well, there’s no question that the biggest problems we face in the country today are jobs that don’t pay well enough and issues that affect middle class families, like college affordability, and it’s such a burden to pay for college these days,” Suozzi said. “My mom and dad are 92 and 95 years old and thank God we’ve got a close-knit family, but there are seniors that are getting taken advantage of all over the place and also veterans. Veterans are a big issue as well for me.”

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Suozzi added that his wife backed him running for Congress.

“A big thing was if my wife said it was okay, so that was a big part of it,” he said.

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Israel announced in January he will not seek re-election in November. He has spent nearly 16 years in Congress.