Democrat Tom Suozzi Wins N.Y. Race To Succeed Santos

( – Congress voted to remove Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from his seat on December 1, 2023, marking the sixth time a member of the legislative branch has been expelled in the country’s history. New York held a special election to fill the vacancy on February 13, with Republican Mazi Pilip going head-to-head with Democrat Tom Suozzi. The Left ultimately won the vote, reducing the GOP’s slim majority by one more seat.

The district has typically voted Democrat, but it apparently veered to the right in favor of Santos because he portrayed himself as an endearing son of immigrants who rose above his humble start to realize the American dream. Allegations quickly surfaced that he had lied about much of his past, and then additional claims came in that he stole money from Republican donors. The disgraced lawmaker currently faces 23 criminal charges, including money laundering, wire fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft. He has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, but the House opted to give him the boot following the results of a damning ethics investigation.

Suozzi’s victory in the wake of Santos’ removal hints at the fact that Democrats still have voting power in many parts of the country, warning that the Left could claim additional suburban areas in November. Suozzi considers himself a moderate, however, skating the party lines on issues like immigration and abortion.

Some residents may also have opted to vote left in response to the gridlock some ultra-right conservatives have brought to Congress. Long Island resident Eliezer Sarrias said he supported Suozzi because he was disgusted over how Republicans steamrolled the recent bipartisan border deal.

Suozzi will complete the 11 months that remained in Santos’ term, at which point the seat will be up for grabs once again. The lawmaker previously held the position between 2017 and January 2023, when he left the post to run unsuccessfully in New York’s gubernatorial race. The New Republic states that future redistricting in the area could lead to an even slimmer Republican majority in 2024.

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