Democrats Take Long Island Congressional District Vacated By George Santos

Photo courtesy of Tom Suozzi, via
Tom Suozzi casts his ballot during early voting on February 9. He defeated Mazi Pilip by 8 points in a special election held to replace disgraced Congressman George Santos.

Democrat Tom Suozzi defeated Republican candidate Mazi Pilip on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in a special election triggered by George Santos’s ouster, narrowing an already-thin GOP House majority.

Voters in New York’s Third Congressional District, which encompasses parts of Queens and Nassau County, braved a snowstorm to cast their ballots that gave the former congressman the eight-point victory over Pilip.

“Despite all the lies about Tom Suozzi and the Squad, about Tom Suozzi being the godfather of the migrant crisis, about ‘Sanctuary Suozzi,’ despite the dirty tricks, despite the vaunted Nassau County Republican machine: We won,” said Suozzi at his victory party.

Pilip spoke to her supporters shortly after conceding to Suozzi. “We are fighters. Yes we lost, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to end here,”

“You are hard workers who love this country. So let’s keep it up and we’re going to continue to fight because we are not going to give up. We’re going to bring commonsense government, I promise you.”

With all election districts reporting, Suozzi garnered 53.70 percent of the total vote, compared to Pilip’s 46 percent, according to the New York State Board of Elections. More than 5 percent of Pilip’s votes — 9,374 — came on the Conservative line despite the fact that she is a registered Democrat who was running as a Republican.

Breaking the district’s vote down by county, Suozzi dominated in Queens where he won 61-38 percent. However, the race was closer in Nassau County, where the bulk of the district’s voters reside, with Pilip losing by only 5 points, or less than 7,500 votes.

While political experts advise against using special elections to try predict general election results, the win gave Democrats a boost in the House where Republicans will now only afford to lose two votes for party-line decisions, and are already dealing with infighting.

Tensions within the GOP have been mounting over the $95 billion aid package to Israel, Ukraine and other allies, which has split Republican senators, while Republicans in the House have been grappling with pushback over the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and opposition to the aforementioned Senate bill.