Former Rep. Tom Suozzi Chosen by New York Democrats to Fill Santos’ Seat

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) has been announced as the Democratic candidate for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. The position became vacant after former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) stepped down. Instead of holding a primary, a nominee will be selected by the local Republican and Democratic parties to serve the remaining term. The district is expected to be competitive, as it leans Democratic, according to the Cook Political Report.

Suozzi, a moderate Democrat, previously served in the House from January 2017 to January 2023. Despite an unsuccessful bid for governor of New York in 2022, Suozzi is now poised to return to Congress to represent his constituents in Long Island and Queens.

“Tom Suozzi has a proven record of fighting for his constituents, fighting to safeguard our suburban way of life here on Long Island and Queens, and always advocating for sensible solutions to the real challenges affecting everyday average Americans,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Jay Jacobs, chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Party, in a joint statement.

In response, Suozzi pledged to prioritize bipartisan collaboration to deliver for his constituents. “The folks from Massapequa and Levittown to the north shore of Nassau, to northeast Queens deserve better,” he said in a statement. “I will work day and night with both parties to deliver for the people, to make living here more affordable, safer and better. I delivered for this district before, and I will do it again by putting you ahead of partisanship. Let’s reject the nonsense and get back to work.”

Notably, Suozzi is also running for the seat in the 2024 general election. The special election to fill the vacancy left by Santos has been scheduled for Feb 13 by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Prior to his ouster, Santos had announced that he would not seek re-election and anticipated that the votes were there for his expulsion.

On the Republican side, potential candidates include state Sen. Jack Martins and Nassau County legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, a black Jewish woman who was rescued by Israel during their airlifts of Ethiopian Jews like herself in 1991.

House Democrat conference’s super PAC has also expressed its intention to play a significant role in the NY-03 special election. The group’s president, Mike Smith, stated, “We will do whatever it takes to flip this district blue.” The special election is expected to draw significant attention and efforts from both parties as they seek to secure the congressional seat for their respective candidates.


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