April 16, 2024

News and Political Commentary

Democrat Tom Suozzi wins special election to replace expelled George Santos

2 min read

Democrat Tom Suozzi won a special election for a U.S. House seat in New York on Tuesday, coming out on top in a politically mixed suburban district in a victory that could lift his party’s hopes heading into a fiercely contested presidential election later this year.

Suozzi defeated Republican Mazi Pilip to take the seat that was left vacant when George Santos, also a Republican, was expelled from Congress. The victory marks a return to Washington for Suozzi, who represented the district for three terms before giving it up to run, unsuccessfully, for governor.

It’s unclear how long his next stint on Capitol Hill will last, as a redistricting process unfolds that could reshape the district. But for now the result narrows the already slim Republican majority in the House. And it provides Democrats a much-needed win in New York City’s Long Island suburbs, where the GOP showed surprising strength in recent elections.

Pilip conceded the race and said she congratulated Suozzi in a phone call Tuesday night.

“Yes we lost, but it doesn’t mean we are going to end here,” Pilip told supporters at her election watch party.

Suozzi’s win will likely reassure Democrats that they can perform well in suburban communities across the nation, which will be critical to the party’s efforts to retake control of the U.S. House and reelect President Joe Biden.

Still, forecasting for November could be complicated given that turnout, already expected to be low given the abbreviated race, was potentially hampered by a storm that dumped several inches of snow on the district on election day. Both campaigns offered voters free rides to the polls as plows cleared wet slush from the roads.

On the campaign trail, Suozzi, a political centrist, leaned into some of the same issues that Republicans have used to bash Democrats, calling for tougher U.S. border policies and a rollback of New York laws that made it tougher for judges to detain criminal suspects…

Anthony Izaguirre, The Associated Press

2024-02-13 23:04:59

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