New York Democrats Nominate Former Rep. Tom Suozzi to Make Special Election Successful expelled Republican representative George Santos.
Suozzi represented an earlier version of New York’s 3rd Congressional District, on the north shore of Long Island, for three terms before vacating the seat to launch an ultimately unsuccessful primary challenge to New York’s governor. Kathy Hochul last year.
“Tom Suozzi has a proven track record of fighting for his constituents, fighting to safeguard our suburban way of life here on Long Island and Queens, and always advocating for common-sense solutions to the real challenges that affect the average American every day,” Jay Jacobs and Rep. Gregory. Meeks, the Democratic Party chairs in Nassau and Queens counties, in a joint statement.
Under New York’s special election rules, county party leaders in the district select candidates.
Hochul has scheduled the special election to fill the position for February 13.
The race to succeed Santos will take on greater importance next year, given Republicans’ slim majority in the House of Representatives, which will only be narrowed, at least temporarily, by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. leaving the camera at the end of this year. The race is already being discussed as a key indicator ahead of the November 2024 general election.
Last week, Santos became only the sixth legislator to be expelled from congress after a report from the Ethics Committee concluded had “attempted to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial benefit.” Saints too pleaded not guilty to 23 federal chargesincluding allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misuse of campaign funds and lies about his personal finances in House disclosure reports.
Suozzi is expected to officially announce his campaign on Saturday.
“I’ve delivered for this district before and I’ll do it again by putting you ahead of partisanship. Let’s reject the nonsense and get back to work,” the former congressman said in a statement Thursday.
Republican leaders in Queens and Nassau counties have not yet announced their candidate. A request for comment was not immediately returned.
Suozzi entered the race to challenge Santos in October before the congressman’s ouster. Support from county organizations will be crucial to help rally resources and boost fundraising in what is expected to be a short and potentially low turnout election.
The district and its previous versions, which covered parts of Queens and Nassau counties, had long been represented by Democrats until Santos’ surprising victory in an open seat race in 2022. Two years earlier, Santos had lost to Suozzi by double digits.
Prior to his three terms in Congress, Suozzi spent eight years leading Nassau County as county executive and also served as mayor of Glen Cove. Considered a moderate Democrat, Suozzi also lost two bids for his party’s nomination for governor: finished third in the primary against Hochul last year and lost a bid in 2006 to Eliot Spitzer. His primary challenge against Hochul was bitter, and the governor had considered blocking his candidacy to be the 3rd District candidate, before clearing the way for him in exchange for certain concessions.
Suozzi will be hoping that the reaction to Santos’ numerous scandals jeopardizes Republican momentum in the district. But his mission to win back the seat may be more difficult than national observers expect, according to local Democrats. he recently told CNN’s Ronald Brownstein. While President Joe Biden would have held the district under its current lines by 8 points in 2020, the GOP has made gains in elections on Long Island since then, largely due to concerns about crime, immigration and inflation, including the high cost of housing.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Gregory Krieg and Renée Rigdon contributed to this report.