Democrat Tom Suozzi wins George Santos's seat in House of Representatives

Tom Suozzi and Mazi Pilip
Tom Suozzi and Mazi Pilip
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Democrat Tom Suozzi has won the special election for U.S. House in New York's Third Congressional District, besting Republican Mazi Pilip and taking over the seat from which gay Republican George Santos was expelled after being caught in numerous lies and being indicted for various crimes.

Polls closed at 9 p.m., and about an hour later major media outlets declared Suozzi the winner. At that point, with 52 percent of the vote counted, he had about 59 percent of the vote and Pilip 41 percent. The district covers portions of Queens and Long Island.

Suozzi, an LGBTQ+ ally, previously held the seat for three terms, resigning in 2022 to run unsuccessfully for New York governor. Pilip is a member of the Nassau County Legislature.

He had the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign's political action committee, which cited his perfect record on the HRC Congressional Scorecard during his previous terms. HRC President Kelley Robinson released this statement upon his win: “The people of NY-3 sent a clear message tonight: they’re done with the George Santos circus and ready for serious, proven leadership. The politics of chaos and extremism may get attention, but it's equality that wins elections. We were proud to mobilize people power and resources for Tom Suozzi and are thrilled to celebrate a big win tonight. Now it’s time to retake a pro-equality majority in the House, secure the Speaker’s gavel for Hakeem Jeffries, and give this country serious leadership to be proud of.”

Abortion rights and immigration were key issues in the race. Suozzi is strongly pro-choice, while Pilip has made confusing statements on the matter, saying she is pro-life but would not support a national abortion ban. Pilip, herself an immigrant — she was born in Ethiopia and lived in Israel before coming to the U.S. — has claimed the nation is being invaded by undocumented immigrants and that Suozzi favors open borders, when in fact he supports improved security along with humane treatment of migrants.

In his victory speech, Suozzi decried political polarization. "It's time to find common ground and start delivering for the people of America," he said. When he is sworn in, Democrats will have 213 seats in the House to Republicans' 219.

He will hold the seat for the remainder of Santos's term, which ends in January. So if he wants to represent the district beyond that, he will have to run in November.

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