Democrat Wins Race to Replace George Santos

Tom Suozzi's win in NY's 3rd district shrinks GOP's House majority
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2024 9:31 PM CST
Democrat Wins Race to Replace George Santos
Suozzi supporters cheer while watching live updates at his election night party Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Woodbury, NY.   (AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah)

While it's too late to prevent the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the already tiny Republican majority in the House has shrunk. Democratic candidate Tom Suozzi, who represented New York's 3rd congressional district for three terms before former Rep. George Santos was elected in 2022, won a hard-fought race to replace the Republican in a special election on Tuesday. He beat GOP candidate Mazi Pilip in the special election called after Santos was expelled from Congress. The AP called the race for Suozzi around an hour after polls closed, when it was around 59% for Suozzi to 41%, for Pilip, with 52% of the vote counted. The district includes parts of Long Island and Queens.

The special election was held as a snowstorm snarled travel. Suozzi opted not to run for re-election in 2022 and launched an unsuccessful campaign for governor. After he is seated in the House, Speaker Mike Johnson will only be able to afford to lose two votes on any partisan bill, the New York Times reports. Suozzi and Pilip, a Nassau County Legislature member who served in the Israel Defense Force, are expected to run again in the November election, but it will be a different 3rd district by then, Nathaniel Rakich at 538 notes. In December, the state was ordered to draw new congressional districts and Rakich predicts that the redrawn 3rd district will look "at least a little bit different—and probably bluer."

Immigration was a major issue in the race, and Suozzi, whose victory breaks a losing streak for Democrats in Long Island, said he would work with Republicans on tougher border policies, the Times reports. The AP reports that in another special election Thursday, Democratic former school board member Jim Prokopiak defeated Republican candidate Candace Cabanas in a race for a Pennsylvania House of Representatives seat, meaning Democrats will retain a 102-100 majority in the chamber. (More House of Representatives stories.)

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