New York Republicans Make Their Pick To Run For George Santos’ Old Seat


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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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New York Republicans have selected their nominee to fill former Rep. George Santos’ seat after his recent expulsion.

Nassau County legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip will run as the Republican in the special election on Feb. 13, according to a press release obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The legislator will go head-to-head with the Democratic nominee, former Rep. Tom Suozzi, whom county leaders nominated last week. (RELATED: Here’s Who Could Succeed George Santos Following His Expulsion)

“Mazi Pilip is a formidable candidate with a unique biography: a former IDF paratrooper and mother of seven,” North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement. “Mazi’s incredible life of service stands in stark contrast to career politician Tom Suozzi, who uses his office to make life better for himself instead of his community. With Mazi in Congress, Long Islanders will have a representative who stands up to the extreme Hochul-Suozzi agenda making New York less safe and more expensive.”

Several Republicans and Democrats were considered by local party leaders for the nomination, including some who had already launched congressional campaigns against Santos prior to his removal from the lower chamber on Dec. 1. The quick turnaround will likely be highly competitive between the two nominees, as the district is a Long Island battleground which President Joe Biden won by 8 points in 2020.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 06: Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York State Governor candidate, speaks during the 2022 National Action Network’s Annual Convention at the Times Square Sheraton hotel. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Suozzi held the seat from 2016 to 2022, during which time he held off a challenge from Santos in 2020. The former congressman ran for governor in 2022, but came in third in the Democratic primary.

The Democratic nominee’s campaign reacted to the news on Twitter, and emphasized his platform of protecting the environment, bolstering health care for veterans, “helping families get ahead” and “protecting our suburban quality of life.”

“People are sick and tired of the circus in Congress,” Suozzi’s senior advisor Kim Delvin said in a statement. “Tom Suozzi has a proven record that he will work every day to try and bring common sense back to Washington by working across party lines, like he’s always done.”

Santos was removed from office following a damning report from the House Ethics Committee that found “substantial evidence” the congressman broke the law. The former member also faces related charges of alleged fraud, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

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